Project Profile: Shaw’s Waterfall Retail Displays

December 4, 2012 by Dave Haynes

Canadian communications and media giant Shaw Communications has started integrating digital screens into its retail stores and using Christie’s MicroTiles to full advantage as interesting, dimensional feature walls.

The pix are of the 4 high by 6 wide wall done this spring at Sunridge Mall in NE Calgary – pretty close to my old Calgary Herald haunts – and three more stores in Alberta and BC have since been kitted up, with more to come. It looks like they also used some super narrow bezels LCDs on store bulkheads, but that will be for some other display manufacturer to make noise about.

“We wanted to make the stores exciting enough so the customer would look at the displays and see a reason to walk into the store,” says James Ferguson, national director, Retail, Shaw Communications.

Shaw, the parent company of broadcaster Global Television, was already using a big MicroTiles wall on the set of a morning chat show, and Julie Shaw, vice president, facilities, design and management at Shaw Communications, was a fan.

“Julie set the tone by raving about what an ‘awesome product’ the MicroTiles were,” says Stephen Monteith, AV design and sales representative at integrator Applied Electronics. “After that, it was an easy decision for the visionaries at Shaw. They immediately realized how the MicroTiles could be used in unique ways within the stores to capture the audiences’ attention.”

The team decided to go for a unique look, as opposed to a uniform canvas.

Rather than have all 24 MicroTiles depicting one piece of content simultaneously, says a Christie release, Ferguson opted for a waterfall effect with the tiles slightly staggered with gaps along the X Y and Z access in a special bracket designed by RP Visuals. Content including media, innovative new products and services, in market offers and community initiatives are shown as individual thumbnails on the MicroTiles, allowing each piece of content to cascade across the whole screen, before pulsing back into one thumbnail. Hanging from the ceiling in each store, the waterfall configurations catch the attention of those who enter the store – and those passing by.

“We wanted to give our video people a cool ‘sandbox’ to play in that provided content versatility and didn’t limit their imagination,” says Ferguson. “And Christie MicroTiles did just that with the content provided by Breakhouse. Our customers love it and their eyes are drawn to it because it is so different from what they are used to seeing. There is an old adage in retail that customers don’t look up – but in this case they do because the MicroTiles display is different, flashy, and it has content that draws their eye to it.”


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