Canada's biggest industrial supply shop rolls out digital screen network

May 26, 2011 by Dave Haynes

The folks up the street at ADFLOW Networks sent me a note about a deal they have closed and are now cleared to talk about – putting screens in the customer-facing areas of Canada’s biggest supply retailer for guys who wear gloves and ear plugs.

Acklands-Grainger is the country’s largest distributor of industrial, safety and fastener products in Canada and has 170 stores across the country that cater to people who build and fix stuff (I break stuff, so I have never darkened the doors of these places).

The Toronto-area company has put big LCDs at the sales counter to promote products sold in its branches. ADFLOW wasn’t allowed to tell me the business model, but it would make sense that the screens are being used as vendor support and, possibly, in some sort of coop advertising arrangement.

No pix either (sigh).

These kinds of retailers don’t get a lot of buzz in this sector, but the opportunity and impact of screens in these kinds of venues is very meaningful. Acklands has 120,000 items in stock, and with things like tools there are a bunch of choices. So a screen that is introducing a product or reinforcing a brand, right in store, can have a real cause and effect.

The retailer is doing the news and weather thing on the screen, which utterly defies logic in that setting, but they are hardly alone in that thinking.



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