NEC Display Solutions Client Installation Retail



Evaluating the benefits of digitising its menu boards, the John Lewis Partnership instructed Digital Media Projects Ltd (DMP), a technology company based in Harrogate to create a digital signage concept for its flagship Oxford Street store. Replacing typed A3 boards, diners visiting The Place to Eat restaurant, the Brasserie, the Bistro and the Coffee Shop now make their selection from 25 x 23” EX231W and two x 46” P461 NEC screens positioned alongside each serving section. The signage on these screens, powered by DMP’s digital signage solution can be created, amended and deployed from anywhere with an internet connection using their unique web-based Creator and CMS.

John Lewis Oxford Street, situated in London’s premier shopping district, offers seven floors of the best in fashion, home and technology, and is the largest of its 35 stores throughout England, Wales and Scotland. The Place to Eat, located on the store’s fifth floor, offers customers a superb panoramic view of the West End with seating for over 300 diners. Whilst The Place to Eat is a shopper’s restaurant within a department store, even the most discerning diners are attracted by the variety and quality of the food, accompanied by the high level of service synonymous with John Lewis. The Brasserie and Bistro on the third floor offer more upmarket meal choices with waited tables, and the fourth floor Coffee Shop provides a range of quick pick-me-ups for tired shoppers.


The Challenge


The retailer’s focus has always been on high quality and excellence of service, and they felt the digitisation of menu boards would not only create a more pleasant environment, but it would also allow them to make regular amendments and improvements to the choice of food served in the four establishments. Removing the reliance on printed materials meant they could react much more quickly to availability of ingredients and customer demand.

Before the digital signage system was installed, each restaurant entrance and serving area listed the day’s menu selection on a number of A3 boards. The production, distribution and fitting of traditional menu boards is costly. The boards at John Lewis need to be frequently updated to display the current menu selection to satisfy regular diners and reflect the changing seasons, for example, Mediterranean salads in the summer months and warming soups and stews in the winter. The menu selection available at various serving stations changes over to reflect the time of day, such as breakfast, lunch and late afternoon meals.


The NEC Solution


In discussions with the Head of Catering at John Lewis, digital signage specialist DMP and installer MVS Audio Visual involved NEC in order to identify the most appropriate display for the installation. The NEC EX231W met John Lewis’ expectations of image quality and reliability. The 23inch screens also matched the dimensions of the traditional A3 size signage which fitted within the restaurant environment. With 100mm 4 point VESA mounting and an ultra-light weight design, the EX231W allows for simple installation, from walls and ceilings in portrait or landscape to suit the location of the menu board. Low wattage LED backlight technology keeps power consumption and heat generation to a minimum. NEC NaviSet software enables centrally controlled asset management keeping maintenance costs to a minimum should the estate be expanded to include further sites.

The Result

A total of 27 NEC screens were installed by MVS Audio Visual throughout John Lewis Oxford Street. The solution consisted of 15 EX231W LED screens on the serving gantries and two P461 screens at the entrance to the Place to Eat, two EX231W displays outside the Brasserie and three outside the Bistro. Finally, six screens were installed in the Coffee Shop, three at the entrance in portrait orientation and three on the serving gantry in landscape. Each screen lists the appropriate menu selection alongside the price which is controlled and updated centrally by John Lewis through DMP’s web-based Content Management System (CMS). Strong contrast and appropriate screen brightness on the digital menu screens give diners a quick and easy reference from which to make their selection. John Lewis benefit from reduced costs associated with the production of traditional signage and huge potential by offering a more varied menu and special promotions, in addition to the ability to instantly react to market conditions and customer demands.