The Beer Store Goes Digital
RETAILER: The Beer Store
KEY INSIGHT: Shoppers are increasingly looking for a digital, interactive experience that lets them learn and explore products in their own way.
ACTIVATION: The retailer replaced its beer wall, traditionally a static display of cans and bottles, with interactive, freestanding units that provide customers with product visuals and pricing.
Mississauga, Ontario — The Beer Store, a 447-outlet chain within Ontario, has modernized its stores with the help of Toronto-based Cineplex Digital Media, a division of Cineplex Entertainment.
The retailer has replaced its beer wall, traditionally a static display of cans and bottles, with interactive Pricing Information Centres (PICs) – freestanding units that provide shoppers with product visuals and pricing.
The 21-inch touchscreen tablets allow shoppers to search more than 650 beer brands and check availability. The PICs confirm product availability and inventory levels by individual location and provide information on convenient self-serve tablets connected to The Beer Store’s central database.
The Beer Store wanted to enhance the overall customer experience as part of a $100 million (Canadian dollars) investment it is making in its stores over three years. The company ran a competitive procurement process to select a partner, and the Cineplex Digital Media team stood out in terms of their vision and capabilities. “We chose Cineplex Digital Media in an effort to provide our customers with an experience that is both engaging and efficient,” says Ted Moroz, The Beer Store president.
The Beer Store was involved at each stage of the project as Cineplex Digital Media moved through designing the fixtures and coordinating installation efforts, says Nick Prigioniero, Cineplex Digital Media president. “They are great partners and truly believe in enhancing convenience throughout the shopping experience.”
The retailer has been offering more self-serve options in stores to allow customers to browse through refrigerated beer on display, says Bill Walker, spokesperson for The Beer Store. “But to learn more about different types of beer, where the beer is brewed, and which brands have been put on sale by their brewers (who control pricing at all times), the PICs really offer the best option, along with our smartphone app.”
The Beer Store employs more than 7,000 “beer champions” who work with shoppers on a daily basis to better understand their choices. “These beer champions will continue to work directly with our customers in the future,” Walker says. “But the reality is that all customers – not just ours – are increasingly looking for a digital, interactive experience that lets them learn and explore in their own way. We wanted to bring that digital experience into our stores.”
PIC installation began in 2013 with a pilot project and was extended to more locations in 2014 and 2015. The full network rollout began in February and was completed in mid-June.
The retailer also recently launched a “Beer Xpress” service, allowing customers to pre-order beer from their computers or smartphones for pickup in stores. The service is currently available in 25 pilot stores.