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Westgate Fashion
An experience that turns heads

Case Study
March 2010

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Scientists tell us that over 90% of our vision is determined by our brain, not by the light waves entering our eyes. With a dramatic increase in the number of messages destined for our thinking selves as customers, any message is having to work harder and harder to grab our attention. With tough times on the high street and concerns about future consumer spending retailers, and those marketing products for us to buy, are looking for new ways to tell us their  story.

It is obvious that movement, colour and sound attract our attention and it is a bygone age when the only sound heard in a store was the tick of a grandfather clock and a beehived Mrs Slocum asking “Are you being served?”

This has moved on a pace with flat screen TV’s and monitors replacing unlit flat printed images and the heavy cathode ray tubes of a few years back. Handy AV has grown up with this new retail technology with experience in shopfitting, exhibitions and crucially computing technology.

“Digital technology has changed everything.” says Aubrey Wright, Managing Director, Handy AV, a company who are at the forefront of these new attention grabbing technologies in the store, waiting room or classroom. He adds “Digital screens are bigger, brighter, lighter and cheaper to install and run, but the content revolution is equally important. Video production using the latest affordable HD cameras and advanced PC editing software are helping drive down the cost of creating content, making it easier to record people, places and products from across the globe, enhancing the shopping experience by making it more lively and engaging.”

 For projects like the Westgate Department store in Peterborough Handy AV also bring their information technology experience into play. The digital revolution has not only brought us the internet, multichannel TV and new forms of messaging, but the ability to meld these technologies to maximum effect and get them installed very quickly.

The screens installed in the fashion area of Westgate bring the sight and sounds of where the clothes on display can be worn - in the nightclub, at the bar, or on the beach. This can be delivered from MTV, Sky or any other digital source, including advertisements, all stores messages, promotions and events. The four 40” inch Samsung MX2 screens are installed in front of pillars on tilting frames and suspended from the ceiling in a tunnelled path that leads the shopper through this attractive experience.

 In terms of screens, this is not a large installation, but the Westgate store has committed to a number of digital products with Handy AV across the Anglia Cooperative estate of stores delivering centrally generated messages to customers, individually promoting local information; or information from head office. This has now been extended to the store front windows where passing shoppers are presented with attractive offers which draw them into the store.

Handy AV prides itself on its installation skills; however busy retailers who are open everyday and offer late night shopping, makes install times extremely tight. Nigel Kilgallon, Handy AV Project Manager says “The key is detailed and advanced planning, part assembly off site and flexible and skilled engineers with on site experience in conferencing, exhibitions and fast shop fitting joinery”. “That and team working with local suppliers and in house trades” adds Aubrey. Part of the planning includes flexible post installation customer service. Handy AV’s CAT 5e/CAT6 cabling and distribution will support HD images and new ideas like touch screen facilities that engage customers directly can be added. It is another way to grab customers’ attention. Glassless 3D screens are just around the corner, so shoppers will again be in for a treat. 

 Handy AV are specialists in data integration with product/stock databases to on screen display, interactive virtualised selling tools, touch screens, video conferencing and video walls. Solid AV and computer IT know how makes this all possible and ensures our clients that Handy AV is the right solution partner.

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