Parkers Convenience Stores, the popular multi-purpose store group with branches across Georgia and South Carolina, is reaping the rewards of its recent investment in digital signage from Cabletime, developer of the MediaStar range of IPTV, streaming and signage solutions. Instead of using employees to travel around its 44 stores to update and upload content for the in-store displays, the company is now able to manage content across its network from one server at its central HQ. This change represents a huge saving in time and the cost involved in frequent travel.
The store group, which aims to offer a smart alternative to traditional convenience stores, uses its displays to provide customers with digital menus for its breakfast and lunch offers, and also to show advertising. Content was originally uploaded manually and advertising was being delivered by DVD players and updated once a month via a new DVD.
Stephen Hines, C.T.O. at Parkers Convenience Stores, said: “Using our staff to travel to different stores to provide content on a USB stick was time consuming and expensive. If we wanted to change even one item on a menu, or provide a two-for-one offer for a short period, we had to get this delivered specially. Even once we started emailing content files, they still needed to be uploaded on a USB drive.”
Cabletime’s MediaStar solution utilizes existing IP networks at Parkers Convenience Stores to deliver content to an unlimited number of displays and TV’s. The MediaStar Media Manager software, which operates at the core of the system, allows one central administrator to control the scheduling, acquisition and delivery of content to the MediaStar players installed in each store, as needed. Updates and changes can be pushed out on demand, and Parkers now have the flexibility to run advertising and marketing campaigns throughout the day.
“Updates are almost instantaneous and we can schedule them to keep customers interested without distracting them too much from their shopping,” continued Stephen Hines. “Installation of the MediaStar system was quick and it’s easy to use, we’ve had no problems with any of the hardware so it’s been pretty bulletproof. But the main benefit has been the savings in time, which of course always equates to a saving in money.”
The success of the installation has encouraged Parkers to start installing two displays in stores where a food service is offered, and this will be expanded, which will see the installation of more MediaStar units. MediaStar video walls which will utilize more MediaStar signage solutions are being planned for future rollout.
“This is a fantastic example of how MediaStar can be deployed to such good effect in a retail environment,” said Ed Carabetta, VP/General Manager of Cabletime USA. “Not only can Parkers display menus that are up to date and easily changed, they can also make snap decisions on offers and promotions and run promotional messaging to further enhance their service to customers. We are delighted that the system has allowed Parkers to cut down on the employee time running between stores which can now be put more effectively into the growing business.”