Canadian gadget retailer The Source – once known as Radio Shack up here – has opened its first experiential format store in an ongoing effort to “reinvent” the brand and shopping experience.
The store is at Toronto’s Yorkdale Mall – arguably the ritziest mall in Canada and where most retailers have flagships, if they have flagship locations.
The new format was put together by Toronto-based retail design agency Shikatani Lacroix, which has a digital signage wing and has been active in this area for a few years now.
Says a news release today:
The design features warm wood tones and neutral white transaction surfaces providing a contrasting backdrop that makes the product the hero and encourages customer interaction. With research showing that today’s customers are seeking an engaging, tactile in-store experience, products have been grouped into categories and displayed in a manner that makes shopping easier and allows for interactive demos. An example is the new headphone wall displaying top brands that shoppers can test and compare head-to-head before they buy.
The revamped experience extends to the storefront, as well. A front window digital display features dynamic content that draws customers in and helps educate them on the leading national brands available. Upon entering the store, a table display highlights The Source’s tagline of “I Want That,” showcasing a spectrum of the hottest new products.
“It’s all about the shopping experience. Our customers told us that they want to be able to see, try and test products, and this new format gives them the opportunity for hands-on discovery combined with the personal service and carefully curated selection of brands we’re known for,” says Charles Brown, The Source President. “We have created a warm and comfortable environment that sets the stage to demystify technology and provides the ultimate consumer electronics retail experience.”
The Source is one of Canada’s larger retailers with over 650 locations nationwide, most of them in malls.
Looks good for a small footprint store, and in a weird twist very similar to what Preset schemed out for a wireless retailer in South Africa a couple of years back: Attractor screen outside, interactive inside and vendor support on accessories.
Too bad the fact tags by the phones are just that, when they could be digital. But that’s more $$$ and was probably suggested and nixed.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.