Having successfully tested new digital signage solutions from LG Business Solutions and ADFLOW at a Nebraska concept store last year, Fareway Stores, Inc., a growing, family-owned Midwest grocery company currently operating 125 grocery store locations in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota, is now in the process of deploying integrated signage solutions from both companies in all of its locations. The company hopes to complete the installation by mid-2020.
Fareway’s goal was to transform their original neighborhood meat market concept store into an improved and inviting modern shopping experience using digital signage that engages, informs, and, at times, entertains its customers. Creating this experience would serve as a compelling visual statement, providing guests with real-time, dynamic visual updates on pricing and sales, as well as food pairing suggestions and health facts that could guide their product selection.
In order to meet the evolving needs of the concept store, Fareway challenged itself to identify a digital signage solution that would provide customers with seamless access to instantaneous updates and key information. The displays would need to accurately and clearly display the rich colors and vivid details necessary for exhibiting fresh, appealing products, as well as attention-grabbing product updates and news. More importantly, the displays would need to seamlessly connect to one another for quick, simple use from a central location.
Fareway turned to interactive digital signage solutions provider ADFLOW and technology partner LG Business Solutions to provide a visually stunning digital signage system that excites and engages customers and employees. The ADFLOW digital signage solution enables unified connectivity and an upgraded feel, both elements that Fareway sought, while providing shoppers with vibrant high-definition content.
Fareway experienced positive feedback from both employees and customers to the solutions installed at the concept store. The implementation of the LG 55SM5KE displays and ADFLOW solution not only enabled Fareway to showcase the highest quality, freshest products available, but also allowed Fareway to transform its meat counters into an immersive and engaging experience that can be easily updated in real-time. Fareway’s decision to take the concept store installation and expand it to all 125 store locations reaffirms the company’s core commitment to continuously enhance the consumer’s shopping experience while also adding value for employees by creating a more efficient workplace.
“Increasingly, retailers of every kind of consumer product understand that audiovisual technologies can play an important role in defining the retailer’s brand image for a new generation of technology centric consumers,” said Clark Brown, vice president of digital signage, LG Electronics USA Business Solutions. “Grocery chains and supermarkets are no exception to this trend. Thoughtfully designed and carefully integrated digital signage solutions can help store management to better engage with and communicate constantly changing messaging to customers more efficiently. This is what the Fareway test proved and it’s why the solution is being expanded to all 125 locations.”
BRINGING PERSONALIZED SERVICE AND QUALITY FOOD DISTRIBUTION TO LIFE
In traditional grocery store environments, the guest experience is often hindered by dated approaches such as printed and hand-written signs in uninspiring formats. Fareway was determined to use large, eye-catching displays that would provide clear, bright visuals with vibrant colors. This would ensure shoppers receive the same quality viewing experience regardless of location within the store. The displays would also save a great deal of time and effort for Fareway staff, freeing up more time to tackle other tasks.
“Together with LG, we were able to provide a premium solution that not only elevated Fareway’s operational effectiveness, but also improved the customer experience,” said Mike Abbott, General Manager of ADFLOW, a division of Daktronics. “We were able to move Fareway from a traditional grocery shopper engagement approach into an evolving, successful digital platform that all parties involved are excited about.”
Initially, Fareway installed advanced LG digital signage displays behind the meat market counter in the Nebraska concept store, and now about 60 additional locations have followed suit. The LG 55SM5KE displays feature pricing and sale information as well as engaging tips about health, cooking, food and wine pairings, and quality products that influence the customer’s shopping experience.
The ability to consistently maintain visual updates and marketing materials from a central location was made easy using ADFLOW’s award-winning Dynamic Messaging System content management software. Updates can be performed by corporate marketing or at the individual store location, enabling Fareway to provide a more relevant and engaging experience that drives brand awareness, consideration, sales and loyalty.
“We were attracted to the ease in which content can be managed through the LG displays, allowing us to add a more personalized touch while complementing additional marketing materials that highlight our quality selections,” said Fareway’s Vice President-Retail Market Operations Jeff Cook. “Because of the initial success, we’ve started expanding to other departments, adding additional LG displays in the produce section of select locations to continue to bring an elevated experience to our customers in other areas.
With the new system, our managers also have the capability to repurpose social media, customize promotion templates, and highlight seasonal recipes, Cook explained.
UPHOLDING FAMILY VALUES FOR FAREWAY CUSTOMERS AND EMPLOYEES
Managing installation while providing a fresh, new look required special care and consideration. Leveraging the expertise of ADFLOW and LG, Fareway quickly implemented the solution with its own unique twist – adding sleek wood trim frames to the game-changing displays.
“We recommended the LG commercial displays not only for their picture quality, form and fit, but also for their reliability, particularly for use in retail and food services environments,” said Abbott.
The ease of installation allowed Fareway to manage this work in-house, highlighting the value that its employees bring to the family-owned business day in and day out. The team successfully completed the concept store installation on time and continues to implement the solution in additional locations; thanks to the effortless connectivity and seamless user-friendly interface of the LG displays.
“Both ADFLOW and LG have embodied our family values, providing us nothing but exceptional customer service throughout the process,” said Cook. “In one instance, we had a few screens that needed service and LG’s team came out prepared with parts and resolved the problem in one day. It’s clear they have a dedicated service team for the commercial market, providing even more value to their customers.”
ENHANCED EXPERIENCE ROLLING OUT IN ALL LOCATIONS
As of September 2019, more than half the chainwide store installations are complete, and all remaining stores are scheduled to be upgraded by mid-2020. With sleek LG digital signage displays arranged in an eye-catching in-store location with seamless connectivity, the new solution continues to “wow” Fareway customers by enhancing the meat market counter’s aesthetic and informing them of pertinent information, company news and up-to-the-minute pricing.
ADFLOW and Fareway were so pleased with the picture quality and functionality of the LG displays, their focus is now getting that same shopping experience to all locations. Fareway continues to engage customers in more ways than just printed coupons, pamphlets and other paper marketing materials. Since the project’s implementation, Fareway has experienced a flood of positive feedback from both internal stakeholders and customers.
“The LG displays are the first thing you see when approaching the meat counter,” explained Cook. “It was imperative to choose displays for what we needed, and above all, the right partners for maintaining a premium experience while meeting our requirements. LG and ADFLOW were able to do all of this and more, exceeding our expectations.”
Fareway is a family-owned business, and a top 10 employer in Iowa, with over 11,000 employees in a five-state region.