S.OLIVER presents "Digital Signage" store concept at Ruhrparkzentrum in Bochum

Rottendorf, 28. 04. 2017

On Thursday, 27 April 2017, the s.Oliver store in the Ruhrparkzentrum in Bochum celebrated a double premiere: on the store's generously-sized 544 square metres of sales floor, the fashion and lifestyle company presented its wide range of high quality clothing and also its new store design concept "Home-Story", the latter for the first time. In keeping with the digital signage concept, so-called touchpoints where customers can learn more about the product, brand and service contents have been installed at nine central locations inside the store.

Digital Signage
With the decision to go for a digital signage concept, the s.Oliver Group is relying on an innovative way to engage its customers that is based on modern communication behaviours and takes them one step further. After the opening of the pilot store in Bochum, the experiences gained there will be taken on board in the roll-out in further stores by the end of 2018.

The first touchpoint of the digital signage concept is located in the shop windows: campaign videos are shown on a 75" monitor in each window to entice the customers to enter the store. Once a customer has entered the shop, they see a screen in the area near the doors that informs them about collection highlights and special offers. The advantage of the screen compared to traditional advertising is that although it communicates a variety of different contents, the communication is still clear and easy to follow for the end consumers. Another central screen is located above the cash desk in the middle of the store. It provides service information to customers as they are waiting to be served and entertains them with the latest image videos.

On the sales floor areas, visitors to the shop then see a digital monitor in the "Denim Kitchen" that shows the latest denim collections of the s.Oliver brands for men or women. Here, the atmospheric kitchen-look store design is completed by touchpoints with digital size calculators that make it easy for each customer to find their perfect denim cut and size, which takes only a few clicks. In addition, they are also told in a quick and uncomplicated way about offers and trends. The same support services concept is replicated on the two displays in the integrated Q/S designed by shop. The digital store design concept is completed by a selfie-wall with a livestream from the s.Oliver Facebook community.

"Digital signage reflects the day-to-day lives of our customers. People are becoming increasingly digitally connected, and a digital store concept is vital for a sales approach that is based on communicating with your customers on equal terms. The digital touchpoints are integrated into the new "Home-Story" store design concept and thereby become an element of our concept of staging the sales areas as home zones. In this way, we combine modernity and digitalisation with a shopping experience that relies on familiarity and a feeling of safety. The end consumers are invited to take time and to browse the collections in a cosy atmosphere. We may even provide a few people with inspirations for their own homes," says Susanne Schwenger, Managing Director Product & Marketing s.Oliver, explaining the concept background.

The digital signage strategy, the concept and the content production were realised in collaboration with the Munich digital media and design agency iqi Studios. "The opening of the pilot store represents a groundbreaking step towards digital retail for s.Oliver that benefits from the zeitgeist-character of fashion and its target groups," summarises Orlando Noor, the iqi Studios CEO. He has worked for national and international companies in the strategy area for many years. "When we designed the concept, we made sure that we developed product-oriented formats that inspire the customers and encourage them to buy."

Store Concept "Home-Story"
The store has been completely refitted, and clearly benefits from the light and modern "Home-Story" atmosphere. Smaller separate areas were intentionally zoned off by erecting horizontal walls to create a loft apartment feeling. Each sales floor area reflects a room and looks like, for example, a living room, a library, a kitchen or a garden. New elements such as cosy carpets, decorative slogans on the walls and elegant shelf constructions make the store very intimate and authentic. An important story telling element is the concept explanation at the entrance to the store. The spaces are named and numbered to ensure that the customers understand the concept straight away and can find their way around.

The s.Oliver RED LABEL Women spaces look like the kind of living room and bedroom you could imagine in a cosy detached family home. The furniture is dominated by oak and cream. The mid-century style shelf constructions and sideboards cleverly combine the presentation of merchandise with a trendy Scandi look home flair. The back wall system offers storage space but retains its shelf character as it is not filled throughout but broken by books and decorative elements here and there. Oak table-like units that look like coffee or occasional tables also make the area look like a home. The ceilings are open; in combination with the warm oak flooring, this makes the space look like a loft apartment. The cosy ambience is increased by the use of decorative industrial style lighting, whilst the actual technical lighting is used only in a hidden way. s.Oliver RED LABEL Men features the same furniture, although in shades of grey. Lovingly designed details such as the s.Oliver logo in a decorative neon look create a personal atmosphere and communicate the brand identity in a subtle way. Campaign images look like works of art hung in a home, and slogans on the wall create a contemporary ambience.

At s.Oliver BLACK LABEL, the rooms are inspired by a bedroom, dressing room and walk-in wardrobe. s.Oliver BLACK LABEL Women also features light natural shades and oak flooring. The lifestyle-oriented sub product line B.Lab is subtly integrated with an embossed B.LAB logo on the wall. The display furniture concept works on the basis of only one hanging height and emphasises the three-dimensional wardrobe theme with powder coated black metal profile shelf units and wardrobes with glass shelves. Accessories such as picture frames also come in black only, which creates an extremely contemporary, slightly starker atmosphere that highlights the loft character more strongly. A Scandi-style sofa covered in a light fabric adds cosy charm and also offers a welcome chance to take a break from the "hard work" of shopping. BLACK Label Men has the same look and feel, although again in a darker colour scheme.

A special highlight is the "Denim Kitchen". In this room, which looks like a fitted kitchen with a tiled splashback, oven and hob, the range of s.Oliver brand denims is displayed clearly arranged in shelves whilst on the opposite side of the room, all of the information about the various cuts is displayed large scale. This very atmospheric setting is completed by a touchpoint with a digital size calculator.

The s.Oliver apartment also has a library, of course. Amongst the books, the customers can find the NOOS ranges of the s.Oliver brands in the shelves, for the first time together with bags and shoes. A sitting area that looks like a window seat is perfect for reading or trying on shoes. The lower elements of the shelf units are closed and offer storage space for additional stock. Another advantage is the construction's high level of flexibility, as it can quickly and easily be adapted to different merchandise presentation requirements.

The colour scheme, a combination of oak, anthracite and black steel, connects the s.Oliver RED LABEL and s.Oliver BLACK LABEL areas.

On the way to the cash desk, the customers suddenly find themselves in the garden. As they are waiting to be served, they can browse the s.Oliver accessory ranges displayed here. Scarves, belts or jewellery are decoratively presented in garden-inspired "raised flower bed" shelves, surrounded by cleverly positioned potted plants. Grey stripes on the oak floor indicate the "sale" area. The cash desk itself is quite understated. The look of the cash desk block was inspired by a sideboard; the s.Oliver logo is projected in a subtle white onto a white background with corona-effect.

"It is very important to us to emotionalise the s.Oliver stores even more, and to offer the customers a unique shopping experience. 'Hygge' is the latest trend from Scandinavia. We have taken it on board in our new store design concept by creating many small, cosy and inspiring sales areas, rather than one large sales floor," says Cristina Viollaz, Director Retail s.Oliver. She is very happy with the new concept.

The store design concept was developed and realised in collaboration with Konhäuser GmbH in the course of several workshops. "The challenge was to not only stage the merchandise displays perfectly but to also, and at the same time, tell a story from the s.Oliver world with the functional interiors that the customers can identify with. And all of this regardless of the high level of complexity, without constructing a single prototype first," explains Christian Zorn, the CEO of Konhäuser GmbH.

COMPANY FACTS
The s.Oliver Group was established by Bernd Freier in 1969. In only a few decades, it has grown into one of Europe's leading fashion companies. In 2015, the Group generated a brand turnover of more than 1.6 billion euros and employed about 7,200 people internationally. Besides the brands s.Oliver RED LABEL, s.Oliver BLACK LABEL, Q/S designed by and TRIANGLE, the company's portfolio also includes comma and LIEBESKIND BERLIN.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Carolin Mäder

Phone: +49 (0) 93 02 / 309 - 9629

Fax: +49 (0) 93 02 / 309 - 89629