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Video Walls Create One Of The Most Unique Retail Experiences In The World

Gucci, one of the world's most recognized high-end fashion retailers, is continually focused on creating an in-store experience that entices customers, grows brand loyalty and drives sales. Recently, it saw how digital signage had the ability to engage customers in a highly impactful manner, and invested in the technology, seeking to transform customer communication and redefine high-end retailing.

In its flagship store at the Milan via Montenapoleone, Gucci – with partner, OOOii, of Hollywood, California – have implemented a system comprised of 50 Planar® Clarity™ Matrix LCD Video Wall displays and an array of OOOii Real Time servers. The result is an immersive retail experience in which customers can see Gucci fashions in stunning imagery and interact with the content in highly intuitive and personal ways.

"This collaboration has created one of the most unique retail store environments in the world," says Jennifer Davis, vice president of marketing for Planar Systems. "It is one that allows customers to experience the Gucci brand in a unique and personal manner, thus inspiring them to explore new products and become even more committed to Gucci and all that it represents."

Technology Designed to Engage Customers

In the four-floor store, eight separate Clarity Matrix video walls have been installed in one-by-three (1x3), one-by-four (1x4), and two-by-four (2x4) configurations using Clarity Matrix MX46 and MX55 models. These new video walls replace older plasma displays from other manufacturers which Gucci says had lost brightness and other aspects of image quality.

In addition to seeing fashion items depicted in vibrant still images on the Clarity Matrix video walls, shoppers can also use tablets to view any Gucci item and then have it appear in HD video on the video walls, as if being modeled in a fashion show. The combination of OOOii's software, fashion content filmed on cameras by RED Digital Cinema, and the picture quality of the Clarity Matrix video walls means consumers will see Gucci items in a stunning, larger-than-life manner. "When you see a dress you've picked out being modeled before you on a nearly 20-square foot screen, how would you not be dazzled by it, and just have to buy it?" Davis asks.

Meeting the Needs of the Retail Environment

Clarity Matrix was selected by Gucci for a number of reasons; the first being its industry-leading ultra-slim profile which allows for impactful visual communication without intrusion into the retail space. With an installed depth of just over 3.5 inches, Clarity Matrix is the thinnest LCD video wall display on the market. Between the 46-inch and 55-inch models, it features image-to-image gaps of only 5.7mm and 7.3mm, respectively- again surpassing competitive products.

The image quality of Clarity Matrix also factored heavily into its selection. Gucci wanted shoppers to be awed by the product images displayed on screen so the display's 1920 x 1080 resolution, 700-nit brightness and up to 3500:1 contrast resolution was important. Also, built-in image processing allows content (including ultra-high resolution DVI signals) to be displayed on any section of a video wall or scaled across the entire surface, providing flexibility and giving the store the best options for presenting product content.

Features That Maximize ROI

Having committed to video wall technology, Gucci – naturally – wanted a solution that would provide the greatest return on the investment. Clarity Matrix, in a number of ways, best addressed that objective. For starters, Planar engineered Clarity Matrix with fan-less operation and off-board electronics. This one-of-a-kind design enables heat-producing elements to be located away from the video wall and out of sight. As a result, the video walls are virtually noiseless and can provide an operating life of 50,000 hours, even when used almost continuously - a typical requirement in today's retail environment.

Another appealing feature is Clarity Matrix's ability to be installed very close (within four inches) to a mounting surface. This is made possible by the unique Planar EasyAxis™ Mounting System. The EasyAxis Mounting System features adjustment cams that facilitate precise 6-axis alignment ensuring uniform and minimal image-to-image gap, which combine to deliver a beautiful, seamless image. Further, the light-weight design of the Clarity Matrix LCD module means that handling, installation, alignment and service are all easier to accomplish.

Gucci also chose Planar's ERO™ (Extended Ruggedness and Optics) feature to further ensure the reliability of Clarity Matrix in the high-traffic store setting. Incorporating a proprietary glass bonding technology, ERO adds durability. It also minimizes reflection that can result from high ambient light conditions in these environments, thus improving contrast by over 300% and giving viewers the highest-quality visual experience.