LED staircase, interactive all over, in new Montreal store

November 24, 2010 by Dave Haynes

Just about any old excuse will do to get me up to Montreal (great city), and now I have a new reason – the multimedia-rich, very cool new Videotron store on Montreal’s main shopping street.

Judging by the video (below), the place is amazing.

There is a giant, apparently working cellphone at the entry and a staircase inside with some 150 HD LED screens.

Videotron is the dominant cable/telecom company in Quebec, and opens its flagship (showcase) store on Wednesday, using technology and creative from a pile of Montreal firms, including ITES, which kindly hosts Sixteen:Nine and does great interactive work. ITES was very heavily involved on the software and technology integration, while another company, Solotech, did the equipment installations and integration.

Says the release:

Videotron is breaking new ground again with the opening of its flagship store on Canada’s premier shopping street. The unique, avant-garde 4,500+ square-foot emporium at 1192 Sainte-Catherine St. West in Montréal will offer customers a new concept in shopping. Cutting-edge communications equipment will showcase the Quebec telecom leader’s hi-tech vision of the future, drawing visitors into a new dimension: the world of Videotron.

“The opening of the new Videotron store is part of our effort to deliver the best possible customer experience, anticipate consumers’ technology and entertainment needs, and set ourselves apart from the competition,” said Robert Dépatie, President & CEO of Videotron. “As an industry leader, setting up shop at a prestigious address on Canada’s premier shopping street was a natural move for us.”

“Once again, Videotron is demonstrating that Quebec boasts formidable entrepreneurial and creative resources,” said Pierre Karl Péladeau, President & CEO of Quebecor. “The opening of Videotron’s flagship store is a high-profile example of the major innovative projects being carried out in Quebec. The entire Quebecor Media team is very proud of this achievement, the product of a joint effort with an array of Quebec firms.”

Innovative design, leading-edge technology

Every detail of the new store has been painstakingly designed to bring the Videotron brand to life and create a compelling hi-tech environment for consumers, from the giant multimedia screen reflecting the urban bustle of Sainte-Catherine St. to the yellow cube entrance.

The use of unconventional materials that reference Videotron’s corporate brand image, such as yellow glass, black lacquer, chrome, glass boxes and brick, lend the interior a vibrant contemporary look. After they step into the Videotron universe, loyal customers and visitors from around the world alike can use the giant smartphone to take a picture or video of themselves and send it to a friend.

Only staircase of its kind in North America

The next thing visitors notice is the striking multimedia staircase leading to the second floor, the only one of its kind in North America. The only similar structures in the world are in Rome and Hong Kong. Equipped with 150 high-definition LED screens, the staircase promises to be one of the store’s main attractions. On the second floor, visitors can immerse themselves in the illico TV high-definition experience in two sound-proof glass booths equipped with 85” screens.

Unique customer experience

Videotron’s new concept store offers customers all of the Company’s services under one roof and a taste of the Videotron experience at its best. At the mobile phone bar, equipped with six touch screens and interactive software, visitors can pick their user profile with one touch (student, professional, head of the family, social butterfly, techno, globetrotter) and find the best handset and plan for their needs. They can then save their search and email it.

Consumers can also try out Full 3D television at Videotron’s new downtown Montréal store. The torrent of stunning images and spectacular sound will provide proof positive that the television technology of the future is here today.

In the Multiproduct Zone, visitors can find out about Videotron’s products, services and bundles for today’s connected households: residential and mobile telephone service, Internet access and illico Digital TV.

A team of specially trained advisors will be on hand in all departments to answer customers’ questions. Consumers can go to the cash or to one of three individual alcoves to make a transaction. The client advisors are also equipped with tablet PCs to help customers make their purchases.

A number of leading Quebec firms were involved in this major project, including Sid Lee, Sid Lee Architecture, Régis Côté et associés architectes, Moment Factory, Solotech and gsmprjct. Videotron also thanks the following partners that helped create its new temple of entertainment: Albert Jean Construction, ITES, Nurun and TVA Accès.

Reports the Montreal Gazette:

Dépatie explained the store is a new concept that allows customers to try out all the technology before they buy. That concept is seen even in the store’s entrance. A giant “smartphone” allows people to send text messages and take photographs and videos of themselves, which they can send to their friends in emails.

Inside the store, touch screens mounted on countertops allow people to scan the phones Vidéotron offers, and to see their technical specifications. The screens also display rate plans for cellphones, and when customers are done browsing, they can call a customer service agent who will help them pay for what they have chosen.

“We found out in our research that customers really want to interact with the technology, and then they just want to pay and leave, so this will allow them to do that,” Dépatie said. “This is mostly for the younger generation, but if you’re a bit older, you can still get customer service.”

Dépatie said the store “allows customers to play.” As such, all the mobile phones will be turned on to allow potential customers to see them working. Most cellphone stores have dummy models on display.

Wow. I get asked all the time what retail installs have I seen that really show off the possibilities of digital. It’s a short list, and this gets on there now. Unfortunately, this sort of showcase install does not tend to full carry on to other sites, though the design will, as well as the giant phone.

Montreal is a hotbed of great work in this sector, on both the creative and software side.

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