As part of the NEC Showcase 2014 OVAB Europe and invidis consulting presented the OVAB Europe Installation Tour of the Westfield Stratford City Mall.
The Westfield Mall is located in Westfield Stratford City, close to the London Olympic Park. The Mall was opened on the 13th of September 2011. With a total retail floor area of 175,000 sqm it is one of the largest shopping centres in Europe and the third-largest shopping centre in the United Kingdom by retail space behind the MetroCentre and the Trafford Centre. The Westfield Mall holds more than 250 retail units and 70 places to dine. Taking the surrounding shopping area into account, it is the largest urban shopping centre in Europe in terms of size.
The Mall is owned by the Australian Westfield Group. The multinational company operates one of the world’s largest shopping centre portfolios with investment interests in 103 shopping centres across Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Brazil.
Shopping malls incorporate an arrangement of co-positioned retail outlets in a widespread area. A typical mall has one or more anchor stores and a variety of smaller stores. An anchor tenant being the largest retail outlet in the mall, is chosen on the basis of its potential to attract customers to the shopping centre in general. Usually department stores act as anchors in regional and super-regional malls, while supermarkets are typical anchors in community centres.
Westfield Mall has two anchor tenants: Marks & Spencer and John Lewis, both large department Stores. The Mall area is clustered into different segments. Walking around you will find a fast fashion retailer strip, a jewellery area, different food courts and entertainment and live event areas.
“Time is money” this is also true for Malls. Keeping the customers in the shopping center as long as possible is essential. Flat fee for parking, different kinds of entertainment offerings and leisure areas prevent people from leaving too early.
To give the Westfield Mall its own identity and to create a unique shopping experience the Mall operators decided to go digital. The overall aim of the project was to deliver 2 core digital screen networks using a combination of LED and LCD technology. Nearly 600 LCD screens have been installed in a variety of formats and 10mm LED units were mounted to walls either indoor or outdoor to ensure that all customers visiting the site are shown live Westfield Marketing and Social Media Content.
Included are twelve double-sided wafers, four inside and six out, four wall mounted 55in digital posters, ten 12 screen bulkhead video walls above each of the main concourses, a 5×5 screen array in the Vue Cinema foyer and two, 27 screen walls, one above the other outside Marks & Spencer. Crowning glory is the centrepiece, 5 tonne, 102 screen double sided video wall outside the John Lewis store.
All the Westfield Stratford City screens, predominantly Samsung, are used to display in-house interactive marketing messages and centre and store information, as well as information about events, exhibitions, dining and store and centre offers.
The digital media system was build and installed within 6 weeks by Esprit Digital. The Westfield Network is commercialised through media support for long term Brand Partners using wrapped and branded content channels and awareness support for experiential activations. Four partners were secured within 6 months of the opening: Samsung, American Express, Adidas and British Gas. Westfield provided the CAPEX for the advertising networks and were able to secure preferential terms with their media partner.
The Scala software supports content creation, management and distribution across digital signage networks. Scala Advanced Analytics works with digital signage to create targeted and persuasive messages that address exactly what consumers are looking for in retail environments to influence purchase decisions.
Throughout the Olympics, the screens were integral to Westfield’s Social and Digital Media strategy, relaying live Twitter and Instagram messages to the centre audience. Different content sources can be played out including content from advertisers and Live Feeds, i.e. BBC News, Traffic Updates, Brand News, Events. The In-House content management has be setup and achieved within six weeks from installation. Each advertising loop lasts about 4-minutes consisting of 24x 10-second slots. Each minute of the loop is segregated into a particular programming mind set.
A huge success
Westfield London and Stratford City together now account for 33% of the UK Retail and Leisure Digital Out of Home market. This figure excludes the value achieved through the commercialisation of the Westfield Screen Network, which would increase the market share to over 40%.