The flagship Levi Strauss & Co. store at Market and 4th Street in San Francisco is using a nice pair of transparent LED screens in the big shop windows to drive the brand and pull people inside.
“Levi’s has been a client of ours for many years dating back to about 2013,” says Brandie Perkins, Senior Account Manager, Reflect, in a press release. “As a forerunner in the jean industry, they haven’t always played a lot in the digital space, but for their San Francisco Market Street location, they really wanted to make a statement and connect with their customers. Having seen the possibilities of a transparent LED video display at a tradeshow, they asked us if we could implement the technology into their retail design, so we reached out to PixelFLEX about the FLEXClear LED video.”
The screens are 65-75% transparent, so natural light still comes into the store.
“They wanted to install a big experience and attract consumer attention without impeding the natural light that comes into the store,” adds Perkins. “With the way the store is physically laid out, the natural light is essential to the space, so they loved the idea of being able to put in a transparent LED display. This way they could still get light into the store without blocking any sightlines, and still make an impactful statement through the content on the screen.”
Levi’s has been in the store for five years, so the screens are a retrofit.
“As far as mounting goes, the design was quite ideal,” says Perkins. “After removing the old tracks lights which were used to light mannequins in the windows, we installed two separate FLEXClear LED video displays, one in each front window, that each included 30 total tiles. They are mounted to a rod hanging from the ceiling, and we are using our ReflectView CMS to push the content we create to the displays. We use a lot of videos and motion graphics, and take advantage of having an unlimited edge on the screens where we can simply display something like the Levi’s logo, and then everywhere else the LED’s are black allowing customers to see into the store.”
I’m a big fan of this sort of tech in windows and even used atop building cladding. You get the visual impact without introducing solid walls in windows that create caverns inside, and they don’t have weight or footprint of solid outdoor displays. You take a bit of a haircut in terms of clarity for up close viewers – because the pixel pitch tends not to be all that narrow – but as you can see from the videos, it looks pretty good from the street.
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.