First of all let me say that I have seen this (Big Media Group) implementation – the Budgens is smart, large’ish and in a great part of the UK (Moreton-in-the-Marsh, Gloucestershire). The screens are well thought out and positioned nicely at the checkout counter in clear view of customers waiting to pay for their goods. There are 6 x 20 inch screens installed at each of the checkout counters.
The owner of this store (Guy Warner) is already so impressed with the rollout that he is considering screens in all of his stores (there are a couple of screens in his Budgens in Broadway, Worcestershire already and screens will go into his other Budgens / Shell Petrol Forecourt in September 2007 also).
The Big Media group already have over 260 convenience store style implementations in independent Petrol Forecourts and so are well versed in terms of the convenience style sell.
The problem here is with Budgens (and their business strategy). Whilst this particular installation is the best and largest I have seen to date it is certainly not the first.
If Screen Fusion are still around then they had a small Budgens install in Edgeware Road, London. Again a nice store (and part of a larger group) but only 1 or 2 screens. As we all know, we are not going to get very far in the industry if we keep having small retail rollouts.
As Budgens are almost all or predominantly franchised then the DS vendors sell to these owners. Each owner chooses his own solution. In the UK we therefore get small retail islands of Signage, rather than the big splash of a large rollout we actually need.
Strangely though this lack-of-central-IT-control (Franchise) model is also the way that the Co-Operative retail organisation works – whilst here there is actually a central IT function – trying to offer some strategic oversight, I believe they actually can influence but NOT enforce. All a very strange way of going on