Canuck health and wellness retailer switches systems/networks

May 13, 2010 by Dave Haynes

Just about exactly a year ago there was a press release out about health and wellness retailer Nutrition House doing a deal with ScreenScape to run its digital signage offer in its stores.

Now there’s an announcement saying Nutrition House has done a deal with Marketplace Station, a different Canadian digital signage solutions and network operator.

Nutrition House, one of Canada’s largest natural health retailers and Planet-Tek Systems, a leading Canadian digital communications provider, are pleased to announce they have signed a 5-year exclusive agreement for The Marketplace Station™ in-store digital signage program.

“This is an exceptional partnership that leverages the core capabilities of both organizations to the benefit of our customers”, states Wayne Parent, President and CEO of Nutrition House. “We want to connect our 60 plus locations together under a unified communication program that focuses on product education, helping both our advisors and customers learn more about the natural health products available, ultimately helping us sell more products to consumers while at the same time reducing our dependency on printed marketing brochures,” he added.

The Marketplace Station program, originally launched in 2008 at Whole Foods Market locations in Ontario has already expanded to 30 natural health retailers across Canada in 2010 and is sponsored by some of the top brands in the industry. By collaborating with the top retailers and brands, Planet-Tek is striving to offer the most resourceful digital communication program in the natural health industry.

“We are taking digital signage to another level by making relevant product information in the natural industry directly accessible in-store” says GeorgeAndreoglou, President of Planet-Tek Systems. Our program delivers relevant product information through an easy use interactive touch screen application. Byincluding on-demand barcode scanning, everything is measurable. Interactive data is reported back the retailer and the brands in order to heighten their knowledgeabout what consumers are searching for.”

I don’t know the full story here, but my strong suspicion here is that the switch has much more to do with business model than platform. ScreenScape’s model is broadly about hyper-local advertising and networks of common interest, like bars and vertical retailers. Marketplace Station is precisely and only in the business of dealing with health and wellness brands, so there was a pretty compelling fit.

It’s a nice sector to be in, with high growth and product margins I once hear a retailer describe as exotic. The deal gets the Marketplace Station guys close to 100 sites, which I’m sure helps gets the attention of sector brands.

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