NEC Display Solutions Client Installation Retail

FOREVER21

HEIGHTENING THE CONSUMER RETAIL EXPERIENCE

Competing against more established low cost fashion brands, the US retailer was relatively unknown within the European market and had to make a big impression with its first UK store. The vast store frontage offered a superb opportunity to create a high visual impact using NEC videowall technology with specialist integrator, Decorum-Technology.

Forever21 is an American chain of clothing retailers with branches worldwide offering fashion and accessories for young women and men. The retailer opened its first European store in Birmingham on 12 November 2010 at the Bullring shopping complex in Birmingham. The 53,000 sq ft retail space afforded Forever21 the opportunity to create an exciting flagship store within one of the largest city centre shopping malls, located in the very heart of the UK’s second city.

The Challenge

THE SHEER SIZE AND UNIQUE CONFIGURATION OF THE PROJECT REQUIRED EXTREME ADAPTABILITY
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The videowall was to be part of the shop front and was required to fill a huge area, two storeys high, alongside the store entrance. Forming the physical shop frontage, issues of security and longevity were paramount, the screens would need to be robust enough to withstand physical assault to ensure continued peak performance with easy access for maintenance. An additional glass frontage would be costly and would pose a problem for cleaning due to the close proximity of the videowall. The sheer size and unique configuration of the project required extreme adaptability and presented a challenge in terms of installing and mounting the screens in a 3 x 7 portrait configuration. With no wall for attachment, the project required a bespoke mounting system which was custom designed and built by Unicol.

The NEC Solution

With VESA mounting and quick access to CAD diagrams, NEC was able to assist Unicol in creating a CAD mock-up of their bracket system prior to fabrication. Space was extremely limited as the installation took place behind boarding so it was essential to be fully prepared with no unexpected surprises. Initially attracted by the ultra narrow bezel of NEC’s X462UN display, the advantages of the protective glass option of the NEC P-Series eventually proved the perfect solution providing a robust screen capable of withstanding the harsh environment. Delivering superior image quality over continued long periods of operation in a portrait orientation, NEC’s Professional Series LCDs also offered the advantage of an Option Slot.

This unique NEC innovation enables the integration of third party devices for ultimate connectivity. Nexus-on-Demand used the Option Slot for DVI Daisy Chain boards to split the screens and the videowall was driven by a 10MP PC player to produce outstanding resolution.

Very tight timescales imposed by the retailer meant that all parties had to move quickly to support the project. NEC’s unique status as a Total Solutions Provider is based upon its experience, knowledge and close working relationship with its Solutions Providers - a network within which both Nexus On-Demand and Unicol are long established associates.

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The installation was challenging and had to take place through the night behind protective hoardings – with so many parties involved and it being a unique solution, it was essential that we were well prepared’ said Gary Mills, Director of Decorum-Technology. He continued ‘completed on time and to budget, the successful result is testament to the professionalism of all involved.’

The Result

‘SUPERB REFERENCE SITE ILLUSTRATING THE HUGE POTENTIAL OF TECHNOLOGY IN RETAIL’

A giant seven metre high catalogue dominates the store frontage creating a hugely impressive shop window attracting shoppers with interactive gesture technology. Allegedly the third biggest store in the Bullring after Selfridges and Debenhams, Forever21 took advantage of a uniqueretail opportunity and has raised the standard in terms of consumer expectation. Creating an on-line buzz both pre and post launch, the retail giant has in no way disappointed shoppers with its highly creative shop window with the promise of more UK and European stores on the way. ‘We are seeing a significant increase in the use of digital signage in the retail environment helping to stimulate the consumer’, commented Gary Mills from Decorum-Technology. He continued, ‘our installation at Forever21 is providing us with a superb reference site illustrating the huge potential of technology in retail.’

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