Frank McCann, President/CEO of McCann Systems, offers insight on retail design and LED Digital Signage in this interview for VMSD (Visual Merchandising Store Design) magazine’s “Special Report: Digital Retail Design.” The New Jersey based technology solutions provider recently received the 2015 Inaugural AV Technology “Out of the Box Award” for a ground-breaking digital signage installation in Times Square, NY NY.
From your perspective, what’s the most exciting trend in retail design today?
Interactive elements have easily jumped to the top of that list. The trend has become more sophisticated and is focusing on making the product itself interactive. Expanding from the popularity of omni-channel retail, it brings that same relaxed, self-guided and streamlined online experience to the brick and mortar. We will be seeing retailers using these digital initiatives more and more as effective methods of communication.
How has your business evolved to meet the changing needs of retailers?
We are a technology, engineering, and build firm that helps to create experiences for customers throughout a changing environment. We engage with new interactive technologies, display technologies, content management and distribution, bringing all of those elements together in the physical sense. Retail designers and retail marketing design firms have different visions and requirements based on their brand or facility. Our ability to engineer and build all of the technological aspects of the initiative is what makes us unique. We are a big partner to the retail architects, retail designers, and retail marketing teams because we can create technology solutions for their unique ideas. We can tailor the technology and hardware to make any conceptual objective a reality.
What do you feel is the single most important factor in fostering a successful relationship between store planners and their vendors?
Vendors have to become a resource to the store planner; more than simply a means to an end. A seasoned and accomplished vendor in any trade should be able to bring ideas to the table and become an asset to store planners as well as fellow vendors. It’s all about solutions and leveraging experience.
Our organization has the ability to manage technology from concept to completion. We have successfully engineered and installed some of today’s most innovative retail initiatives for many of the industry’s most exclusive brands. In terms of digital signage, we work with visual merchandising experts as well as content creation companies to bring the hardware and the software together in one single solution. We are technology experts who create experiences based on input from all of the players; we are part of a team.
Looking to the coming year of retail design, what signage innovations do you find most compelling?
Replacing the traditional micro-bezel flat panel videowall products, LED brings better resolution, crisper content reproduction, and is up to three times brighter. LED technology has been trending in a larger, outdoor scale for a few years, but is now becoming more affordable and reliable in the higher pixel pitch required for indoor signage.
What advice can you give experiential designers looking for LED technology solutions?
When you work with your client and create a vision, run with it. If it doesn’t exist, engineer it and build it. Clearly define the project’s vision and goals while keeping in mind the requirements of day-to-day operations. Embrace the tough challenges that require custom solutions rather than trying to work around them.
The thing about LED is that it will give you the aesthetic you’re looking for. Not only are the visuals, the colors and contrast, just stunning, but the flexibility and versatility of the product can bring any concept to life.
Read the latest issue of VMSD magazine online: VMSD August 2015
See more of McCann Systems’ Hospitality & Retail Projects