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Akademibokhandeln Leads the Swedich Bookstore Industry with Scala Digital Signage
Akademibokhandeln (Academy Bookstore) is Sweden’s largest bookstore chain. With 700 employees across 62 stores across Sweden, Akademibokhandeln commands 30% of the bookstore market in Sweden. Stores are located in most of Sweden’s largest cities, often near higher education centers. Akademibokhandeln is the country’s most comprehensive book seller with over one million titles in various categories including: entertainment, information and development etc. They also offer this wide range of titles at their internet store. Each bookstore caters to local market demands.
The impetus for adoption of digital signage was to ensure their ongoing leadership in their marketplace. By implementing technology and presenting the company with a new image, Akademibokhandeln wanted to be the first bookstore company to adopt digital signage in their industry. The goal of the network was to promote the products and services available in the bookstore and respond to the demands of their customers.
Sweden’s largest bookstore chain, Akademibokhandeln, is currently rolling out the next phase of its digital upgrade program for all its stores. The in-store signs and displays are being supplemented with a digital signage network that opens up new possibilities for communicating with employees and customers alike.
The Akademibokhandeln store in the “Skrapan” shopping centre in Södermalm, Stockholm has been the project’s testing ground. It now has 42” screens installed in its new Film & DVD department and smaller 19” screens on its line of checkout desks. Mobile units, installed into a bookshelf with wheels, are strategically placed throughout the store for special promotions or to highlight special departments.
“It’s almost like a television station; we are able to rapidly adapt our message for all the stores,” says Bo Röstberg, director of operations and also the project’s visionary. “Previously, we had difficulties presenting relevant messaging. Now, with our dynamic digital signage network, new messaging can be dynamic. Customers who see a product on television in the morning will find the product waiting for them in the store by lunchtime.”
“This is something completely new to our industry in Sweden. But as we and our competitors spur each other on, I suspect we will see this development spreading to other companies. For now, however, we are leading the industry. This means improved information and more promotions for the customer”, continues Röstberg.
“Although the technology is relatively new, the project has gone smoothly and there have been no major problems; it has gone like clockwork. Zone Systems, a Scala Certified Partner, has broad competence in this field and has been very receptive to our ideas, while Rekyl, who produced the content, have shown us how we can communicate a solid, well conceived message for this new channel right from the start.”
Jan Pettersson, Sales Manager at Zone Systems emphasizes that the new digital signs will not be replacing the classic signs completely: “It all depends on what type of message the store wants on the screen and which zone they intend to place it in. It’s a matter of finding the right balance between digital and traditional media. But in terms of getting people’s attention and content flexibility, the digital signs are highly effective.”
All 62 Akademibokhandeln stores will be fitted with the new digital signage system in the spring. The first evaluation findings indicate that the initiative is already a success: both the publishing companies and our own staff are enthralled by these new possibilities. Now we can stay on top of current events, follow-up on major campaigns and provide stores around the whole country with coverage of author events and other activities that can normally only be experienced on site or at special book-signings. Now we can record these events and broadcast them to all the stores. We can even set up a studio and use the digital screens as our own TV channel; perfect for internal information.