Amscreen Announces Trial With ASDA

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

God help us, Amscreen has just announced a trial deployment with ASDA, the UK’s second largest supermarket, which will see Amscreen’s so called ‘close-proximity signage units’ installed in ASDA’s brand new store in Keighley, Bradford.

Brian Rutherford, Head of Store Design and Retail Development at ASDA said in the press release “We are excited to be working with Amscreen on this and believe the technology will allow us to communicate effectively with our customers in a dynamic and interesting way, giving them a better in-store experience via technology that can be deployed without fuss or disruption.”

Mr Rutherford needs to get another job if he really is ‘head of store design’ – I’m sorry but there is no way that Amscreen’s digital display screen is in anyway on ‘brand’ within Asda. Amscreen are a one product company – that horrible black small landscape screen with the even worse 1960s scrolling LED at the top and it seems they would sell it anywhere and bolt it onto anything no matter what it looked like.

Needless to say Baron Bully-Barrowboy’s lawyers will be onto us again but seriously let’s hope that this stays just a trial until Amscreen realise that TV-on-a-Stick is not what this industry is all about or ASDA see sense and take this sort of business out to a proper tender.

The press release does state that the screens will initially be installed at the pharmacy and photography / technology counters in the store and will carry product and pricing information although there will also be a screen in the colleague area (the employee’s rest area).

Simon Sugar, CEO at Amscreen added: “We are delighted to be working with ASDA and believe that our unique ‘plug and play’ system offers a practical and cost-effective way to communicate in real time with both customers and colleagues via an engaging format.”

We bet he is BUT we figure this is just another case of star-struck corporate employees not choosing the best option available in the marketplace.

11 Responses to “Amscreen Announces Trial With ASDA”

  1. NeilC Says:

    “we figure this is just another case of star-struck corporate employees not choosing the best option available in the marketplace”.

    Perhaps. But it’s pretty safe to assume that Amscreen are aggressively presenting the product into any boardroom they are let into (remember, a vampire can only enter when invited!).

    Most digital signage briefs I’ve dealt with take quite a few steps before a client can actually “see” a working product. Normally the path starts with the client realising they want digital signage, passing the brief into various companies, costings are sent, quotes are fiddled with, etc. The entire process taking a bloody long time before the first trail units get in place.

    Whereas Amscreen will be walking into those boardrooms with the “signage on a stick” under their arms. Put it on the desk, and show the product working from the very first presentation. This removes any need for imagination on the clients part. The unit exists, it’s in front of them, and it’s working. Yes, it maybe appear to be a “substandard” product to people in the industry. But to people wanting simple DooH, it’s tangible and ready to go.

    We can rip the product to shreds within the walls of our industry. But Amscreen are getting the numbers out there. Numbers = national advertising clout. No matter how bad we think the screens are.

  2. NeilC Says:

    PS. That video reeks of A-Level media student. Soft focus zooms, “CRAZY” angles, 2 people with empty baskets & every 2nd shot having Pan and/or zoom.

    Roger Deakins eat your heart out.

  3. James Tabor Says:

    numbers are numbers – and I’ll re-iterate a point I have made previously the consumer really doesn’t worry about the format it’s in. The screens are clear, the animation simple.

    Having seen it panelled so vigoursly here imagine my suprise on seeing one in a BP at the weekend and realising that they actually look pretty darn good in “the flesh”. All singing and all dancing they might not be, but as a one-stop solution – they’re pretty hard to beat.

  4. Industry luminaire Says:

    “1960s scrolling LED ” ?


  5. Long-time ASDA experience Says:

    If it’s free, they’ll take it! .. Would YOU pay for that??

    ASDA are the kings at the not-paid-for trial, and have been for over 10 years. I’ve been in there three times myself!

    I wonder how deep the pit of money is? I guess we’ll soon find out.

  6. Carsten Hollose Says:

    From a quality standpoint I agree that it looks awful, but you obviously cannot take away the fact that Amscreen sales wise are up in gear. It is not always the best solution that wins, but sometimes the best and most active salesman.

    It is (without mentioning names) the same we see here in the Scandinavian/Nordic market. The highest unit volume sales (and best PR effort) comes from the vendors with the lowest price, technically simple, most black screens in shops, bad service and simple loop type content. The advanced software, sublime content etc. vendors are doing wonderful stuff, but struggling to sell enough.

    It is quite simply the marks of an early unmature market. On the other hand, if “bad” solutions expand the presence of DS, then there should be ample “upgrade” opportunities in 1-2-3 years time for better solution/vendors.

  7. J. Woolsey Says:

    Free pilot think about it, you really don’t have the sale.

    The DS platform is compromised from the start as the numbers never ad up to the model and the house of cards “DS platform” blows over.

    Small screens at the checkout – Brand dollars – ROI – ???

    Amscreen you can do better…

    Best regards,

    J. Woolsey

  8. Geof J Says:

    the Sugar Brand will not stop at supplying business mates high up in industry

    I consider this a challenge to get to market with a workable business model – Free install funded by advertising will need deep pockets – but not that deep …

    We have a national roll out for a Cellular/3G “plug and play” DS solution on a small scale with an ROI of 3-4 months – A complete 22″ 3G solution with fully featured DS software with full camera recogintion analytics – at under £1500 per unit – the ROI is short and very profitable.

    From what i can see and with the Sugar buying power – the cost of their solution is likely to be under £700 – less than the cost of one advert

    So anything is possible – its just a case of “he who dares wins …”

    One of my marketing rules is – “sometimes good enough is good enough – don’t over engineer !”

  9. David Street Says:

    When people start paying for it, then I will worry, untill then any idiot can give stuff away.

  10. J. Woolsey Says:

    OK, but my rule is simple when dealing with retail grocery and brands, put the screen as close to the sugar as possible.

    If they had mapped out a retail grocery POG, you would not see screen locations at the checkout, service desk or the back room:)!!!

    A POG has nothing to do with over evgineering a DS platform however it has everthing to do with brand POP and advertising DS ROI.


    J. Woolsey Jr.

  11. Deon Says:

    I hate it! I hate it! I hate it! Mmmm, but it does the job for the location and target market…

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