Professional Jeweler Archive: Do You Know Where Your Image Is?

July 2001


It's 10 p.m.: Do You Know Where Your Image Is?

Eddie Bauer uses technology to change its windows from day to evening as customers go from older to younger

Image is so important to U.S. retailers that some can no longer be satisfied with just one. For them, image is becoming like apparel, dressing stores to fit an occasion.

This isn’t entirely new. Lots of jewelers, for instance, pull out the formal wear, pour champagne and flash the big-buck stones for trunk shows or store openings.

Eddie Bauer, the outdoor outfitter and casual lifestyle retailer, takes the concept to a different level. At some of its stores, plasma screens in store windows communicate a day-and-night style. Research showed morning and early afternoon shoppers have different priorities than those at night. “Shoppers early in the day are more mission-minded,” Michael Boyd, director of customer relationship management, tells Display & Design Ideas magazine. “They are usually older, less style-oriented and more price-sensitive.”

Priorities flip in the evening when a younger crowd hits the streets. These shoppers are more style-conscious and want to browse, says Boyd.

Bauer’s plasma screens reflect these varying desires. In the early hours, they show clear and to-the-point advertising. In the evening, the screens pop with fun images that grab the attention of customers willing to linger. The plasma screens were installed initially at three Eddie Bauer stores. More customers came into the stores and sales increased so the company extended the concept to 10 more stores.

The idea originated with business students at Indiana University in an assignment to find ways to encourage more customer traffic in Eddie Bauer’s stores.

According to Boyd, the plasma screens offer three distinct advantages:

  • Retailers can change content faster than with printed banners.
  • Retailers can relate more intimately to their customers by providing different messages to different market segments.
  • It conveys Eddie Bauer is up-to-date with technology.

– by Mark E. Dixon

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications