SEATTLE -- Muzak here, known for background music and a few words from its sponsors in retail outlets, began a 60-day test Feb. 1 for Satellite Addressable LED signs and video displays in three different types of stores. The test stores include a large chain drug store, a chain-operated supermarket and a wholesaler's corporate supermarket in three regions: the West, the Midwest and the East.
"We'll be right on top of the end-aisle displays with the LED signs and right in the high-traffic selling areas, like delis and bakeries, with the videos," said Gary Henderson, president of Muzak In-Store Marketing. "No one else is doing that or has done it before."
He said retailers can use the LED signs as alternatives to light boxes and cardboard signs to promote products, announce price specials and ultimately influence consumers' buying decisions. The videos, according to Henderson, will be used for cross promotions through recipes, food preparation ideas and other food and product-related information.
Muzak here -- a $500 million company claiming 80 million daily listeners and some 300,000 customers worldwide -- is in the midst of tremendous expansion plans that center around these LED signs and video monitors.
Muzak was among the first to go in-store with high-tech marketing tools such as its "SuperLink," a direct broadcast satellite system that uses a sophisticated web of satellite transmissions and an E-mail system that puts retailers in touch with wholesalers and brand marketers.
"Muzak acts as an additional sales force for our sponsors," said Henderson. "We're able to alert our stores about trade deals, category management issues and special promotions in a way that a sales force does. That's really important to the stores in 'C' and 'D' counties that don't get to see sales people all that often."