Mall of America (MOA®) is the largest mall in the U.S. Inside are over 500 stores with 5.6 million square feet of storefronts, including more than 50 restaurants, a theme park – Nickelodeon Universe®, movie theater, comedy club, LEGO® store and even an aquarium – something for everyone.
As a mall with 5.6 million square feet of storefronts it’s important to communicate with shoppers as soon as they walk into the facility because patrons often need assistance navigating their way through this big, high-traffic environment. The MOA management wanted a more effective and flexible tool than their current printed banner signs and traditional signage to use at the 12 entrances and exits. They needed a communication vehicle that would allow stores to advertise, integrate with the digital platform the team uses to engage MOA shoppers, incorporate into an existing digital sign system and also complement the architectural and interior design styles.
When Nicole Farrell, partnership account executive, MOA, sought a custom-engineered LED digital signage solution that would offer guests useful information and their diverse network of brand partners a unique opportunity to stand out, she contacted Kaj Reiter, owner of Minneapolis-based Leroy Signs, Inc., MOA’s preferred sign vendor.
“As we looked at placing new signage in the Mall it was a natural decision to go digital because it lets us be more flexible in the messaging, allows for multiple advertisers/content on a single channel and reduces printing costs,” commented Farrell.
With over 40 million annual visitors, mainly entering through the parking ramps, it was an obvious choice to start in the skyways linking the ramps to the Mall by swapping out the banners with digital boards.
Specifically, the 12 custom LED displays are California-based Optec Displays’, Inc., Infinity-SMD with 128×768 pixel matrix and 6.667mm pixel pitch, measuring approximately 14’5” long x 2’5” high. The back-to-back signs rotate many independent messages including “welcome” and “thanks for visiting” on the appropriate sides of the units to provide a positive customer experience and also include MOA branding.
“The crystal-clear resolution and bright, vibrant colors are amazing and the ability to change the brightness based on the time of the day is an awesome feature,” said Patrick Wand, IT project manager, MOA. “It’s been great working with Optec Displays and our long-time sign partner Leroy Signs,” added Wand. “The displays help us keep the messages fresh and relevant, and grab shoppers’ attention.”
Optec’s LED digital displays increase awareness of the array of shopping, dining and attraction opportunities available to patrons. The 12 displays give MOA the visibility and flexibility to speak directly to their customers each time they enter their doors while offering the flexibility to quickly customize and update messages, and display them in a highly visible way.
These displays operate on low-power consumption to reduce MOA’s overall energy expenses. Each display was easy to install and, if necessary, service, keeping the cost of ownership down and return on investment high. In fact, the Infinity-SMD has a life expectancy of over 100,000 hours, which is approximately 11 years if they are running 24-hours a day, along with an extensive warranty lasting multiple years.
“It was an easy decision to partner with Optec Displays on this project because we align ourselves with companies that have the same business philosophy as Leroy Signs,” said Reiter. “We have a long-term working relationship with Optec Displays and know the high quality of their products and service,” Reiter continued.
These 12 LED displays are a popular choice in the Mall’s digital signage suite and while Farrell and her team don’t have data that show traffic has increased due to these signs, that was never the intent. “We do know that it provides a nice service and lets guests be aware of sales and stores opening in the mall, for example,” said Farrell.
Another purpose for the digital signs is for tenants, other partners and brands to promote themselves. These signs are so effective that they sell out during the holidays every year, providing advertising revenue for MOA.
With Optec’s displays, shopping malls like MOA can increase revenue, provide helpful wayfinding, and elevate the customer experience. Digital displays, such as the Infinity-SMD, create targeted and persuasive messages that address exactly what consumers are looking for in retail environments to influence purchase decisions.