As a leading lifestyle brand focused on making yoga and fitness accessible for everyone, Gaiam currently has a worldwide network of approximately 38,000 retail environments with 18,000 of those located within existing retail locations. So when Macy’s began a new initiative to transform a retail location into the “Store of the Future,” they approached Gaiam with an opportunity to create a completely new retail environment meant to achieve a higher level of customer engagement. Understanding exactly how they wanted to capture the attention of Macy’s shoppers, Gaiam began working with Reflect, which chose to incorporate FLEXLite NXG 3.9mm LED video technology from Nashville-based PixelFLEX into the exciting, new retail environment.
Photo Credit: OPTO International“As a fitness and wellness brand partner of Macy’s, we were very excited about the opportunity to take part in their technology renovation and feature a space in their ‘Store of the Future,’” said Hannah Gilmore, Gaiam’s visual merchandising manager. “The primary objective of the redesign was to demonstrate what the future of the Macy’s retail experience is going to be, so we truly had to make an impact with our design. We have used LED video in the past to engage our consumers, but never at this scale. As this was the ‘Store of the Future,’ we needed state-of-the-art digital technology and the most effective product; the FLEXLite NXG was the perfect LED video solution.”
Beginning the design process of their innovative retail environment, Gaiam was introduced to Dallas-based Reflect, which has been working with Macy’s for a number of years as its in-store digital media partner.
“Gaiam was a brand that we had not yet engaged with, so we were excited to be able to work with them to provide the ideal LED video solution,” explained Matt Schmitt, president and co-founder of Reflect. “To get started, we brought in our solutions engineer, Chas Thornhill, to work on the initial design. After meeting with the Gaiam team, we knew the LED video product had to install easily and be able to operate efficiently in a retail store environment with a smaller pixel pitch for a high definition display. We then spoke with PixelFLEX to find out what LED video solutions might be available, and we found that solution in the 3.9mm FLEXLite NXG with both front and rear serviceable panels.”
The FLEXLite NXG is now available in two sizes with 2.6mm-6.25mm pitch options for an even deeper layer of creativity, plus a 6.25mm full outdoor, IP65 version as well. For performance, FLEXLite NXG tiles are calibrated directly out of the box to ensure perfect color and brightness; and with serviceability in mind, easy access to the back of panels allows for quick and simple on-site repairs.
Now that the LED video technology solution was in place, the design team got to work installing the FLEXLite NXG into the Gaiam retail environment.
“We were essentially given a blank canvas to work with, and we wanted the digital experience to be a main focal point, drawing customers into our space,” Gilmore continued. “The FLEXLite NXG LED video wall ended up being about 6 feet wide by 10 feet tall. Once the grid structure was installed the LED tiles quickly locked together creating a seamless digital wall.”
“On the project, there was a bit of a tight timeline, and PixelFLEX really went above and beyond to meet our deadlines which was extremely helpful,” added Schmitt. “At Reflect, we continually work with strategic hardware partners to identify solutions that are beneficial for our clients and in creating these partnerships, we look for a company that is partner-centric. It always works better when we can bring in a consultative partner for a fully integrated project offering and PixelFLEX always seems to go above and beyond. Because of this, whenever there is an opportunity for an LED video wall experience, we now lead with PixelFLEX.”
With the LED video wall in place, it was time to give life to the new retail visual experience using the motion graphic content created by Gaiam specifically for the Macy’s “Store of the Future.”
Gilmore explained further, “The motion graphic included user generated content from Gaiam gurus across the nation, along with a custom video that showcases Macy’s-exclusive apparel and hard-goods. We wanted the presentation to show how anyone can easily incorporate yoga and fitness into their individual lifestyle. The final product was a 5-minute video that relates to a broad audience. The FLEXLite NXG LED video technology truly provided the seamless integration we sought and it was crucial in making our retail experience cohesive.”
As retail environments continue to evolve in order to compete with the growing trend of online shopping, retailers are constantly looking at which technologies will draw consumers into their store front locations. With the introduction of new technologies, not only are they able to create these unique environments, but they are also now able to conveniently update their branding content throughout all their locations.
“At Reflect, we have seen a tremendous rise in the interest of implementing visual digital experiences into the retail environment,” admitted Schmitt. “With our core product offering ReflectView, we allow clients to load and update this visual content across many locations quickly and easily, but we also need a hardware partner throughout the process. Through the LED video solutions provided by PixelFLEX, we are not only able to complete the design process, but we can now offer a truly engaging medium that provides our clients with a superior visual experience.”
“When we finished the installation and saw the final video for the first time, we were all amazed by the brightness and vibrancy of the image; you could literally see our digital wall from multiple vantage points throughout the store,” concluded Gilmore. “In this day and age of interactive digital experiences, LED displays are the future of retail design, and I can see PixelFLEX LED video technology being an integral part of that future.”