Who Are Westfield?
Westfield Shopping Towns Ltd is a subsidiary of the Australian-owned Westfield Group who operate one of the world’s largest shopping centre portfolios. They have interests in over 120 shopping centres across Australia, the US, the UK, New Zealand and Brazil taking in over 25,000 retail outlets and the company has total assets under management in excess of AUS$59bn.
Westfield and Esprit Digital
A series of meetings took place with Westfield’s Brand Partnership Division who were looking at ways to maximise the assets of the shopping centre and were looking for a world-class digital signage network to complement the scale of the site and the consistently high number of domestic and international visitors.
After a tough tender process, Esprit Digital was awarded the contract to spec, design, supply and install video walls throughout the complex. An obvious partner given the requirement for technology that was quickly available in large quantities; that is was sufficiently robust for a shopping centre environment; capable of being designed and fitted into the infrastructure of a new building and Esprit Digital’s experience, expert-level knowledge of the environment the operate in and highly skilled workforce.
Managing Director of Esprit Digital Peter Livesey said ‘in working inside of one of the largest shopping malls in Europe, Westfield wanted, and we recommended, digital displays of equal scale to provide maximum viewing opportunities and relevant Westfield media content for their audiences. As well, there was also the issue of where to place these display screens in terms of accessible audience through points within the mall.’
He continued, ‘to meet these objectives, we created several types of digital displays from single screen modules to massive video wall set ups that in some cases, occupied the entire length of a mall wall. These video screens were either located in front of an anchor tenant’s store or by a mall traffic hub such as near an escalator landing, allowing customers passing by to have good viewing opportunities of the various digital displays.’
The Esprit Digital Solution
The brief from the client was straightforward – maximum visual impact, value for money, seamless integration, 100% reliability and low running costs. In their manufacturing facility in Hertfordshire, Esprit Digital created fully formed bespoke steel frameworks and bracketing for the Samsung 46” narrow bezel LCD screens comprising the following –
- 10 x 12 screen (two high, six across) bulkhead displays above each of the main concourses
- 2 x 27 screen (three high, nine across) video walls, one above the other outside anchor tenant Marks & Spencer
- 1 x 102 screen (double-sided, three high, 17 across) video wall (the largest LCD video wall in Europe) outside John Lewis
- 1 x 25 screen (five high, five across) video wall in the cinema foyer
Additionally, 40 x 55” Samsung LCD screens were ordered for in-house marketing purposes which were installed either as wall-mounted single-sided Digital Posters or ultra-thin standalone double-sided ‘Wafers’.
Starting in May 2011, Esprit Digital’s team of engineers, technicians and installers were given three months to complete the install.
The timeframe would have been more easily achievable if it was a retrofit into an existing infrastructure but working within the constraints of Europe’s largest building site, pre-agreed project milestones became hindered by restrictive access to power, site accessibility, motorised equipment, cellular signals, ASDL and flooring. However, working around the clock to exceptionally tight deadlines, Esprit Digital’s motivated and professional team completed the implementation programme on schedule.
Esprit Digital is also able to do remote, real-time maintenance on all aspects of the digital signage from their HQ in north London.
Esprit Digital won two awards for the Westfield Stratford Video Wall project –
- EMEA + InAVation Awards 2012 – Most Interactive Digital Signage Project
- Digital Screenmedia Association 2012 Award of Excellence – Best Retail Deployment
Myf Ryan, General Manager of Marketing said ‘the scale and scope of digital signage for customer messaging and content at Westfield Stratford is as yet unmatched in other UK shopping centres,’ while National Account Manager for Mall Retail, Brand & Media Chris Lynham said ‘Esprit’s installation teams worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the project and we have employed them again to deliver the same solution for our London White City site.