Sun Diego Boardshop

NEC Video Wall Brings Dramatic Surf Experience to Sun Diego Boardshop

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Sun Diego Boardshop
Quick Facts
  • Facility: Sun Diego Boardshop
  • Vertical: Retail
  • Location: Carlsbad, California
  • Challenges: Engage customers with videos that showcase the romance of surfing alongside brand ads
  • Solution: 46" NEC X464UNV
  • Result: Enhanced customer's shopping experience with beautiful surfing imagery and direct communication with the store

Carlsbad, California, is the physical embodiment of a Beach Boys' song—all Pacific surf, sun and sand. Surfing, naturally, is the main pastime in the coastal village, which made it a fitting choice for Sun Diego Boardshop's newest store.  The shop sells everything from surfboards to bikinis to sunglasses, as well as beach-related gifts and knick-knacks.

Sun Diego moved into an enormous octagonal ballroom in May at the Twin Inns, which Carlsbad Magazine dubbed "the anchor of all Carlsbad landmarks." In its 127-year history, the Twin Inns served as home to Gerhard Schutte, known as the "father of Carlsbad," and several elegant restaurants before recently converting to retail space.

"There's a ton of Carlsbad's history in that building," said Pete Censoplano, Sun Diego's vice president of operations and marketing. "It was important to us to do something historic and special."

Staying true to the building's heritage, the store features iconic surf photographs and a rotating exhibit of notable vintage surfboards dating back to the early 1900s. Sun Diego decorated the space with a turn-of-the-century industrial theme, save for one notable exception: a mammoth high-definition video wall.

The Challenge

Sun Diego wanted a dramatic centerpiece for the store that captured the thrill of surfing while also showcasing the different brands it sells.

"The main part of our industry is obviously the romance of surfing and the beautiful places surfers get to go," Censoplano said. "There's no better way to tell a story to a customer than through video."

Censoplano, along with Sun Diego's owner, saw a video wall in another business and knew it would be the perfect addition to their new space. Sun Diego reached out to its long-time DVD supplier Grandview, which has evolved into a full-service digital signage company, about getting a similar wall in the Twin Inns store.

While the wall Censoplano saw featured a two-minute looped ad for just one clothing brand, Sun Diego wanted to feature clips that highlighted all of the brands it sells. The store also hoped to host live-stream events around competitions such as the U.S. Open of Surfing.

"It's a whole new use for premium surf content," said James Ravenel, Grandview Digital's head of business development and sales.

The Solution

A synchronized picture that ran seamlessly across multiple screens ranked highest among Sun Diego's priorities for the video wall. Grandview worked with NEC Display Solutions on several previous projects and recommended the 46-inch X464UNV displays for the Twin Inns store because they're designed to create a unified image when tiled.

"NEC is the brand for us," Ravenel said. "The screens are commercial grade, and the staff has some of the most knowledgeable guys we've met."

Clarity was important so that the videos appear just as breathtaking from a distance as up close. The high-definition images appear crisp with true-to-life colors that emphasize the beautiful blue-green ocean waves.

The picture is bright enough to be visible during the day in the Twin Inns' light, airy space, while the screens' flat finish ensures there aren't any reflections. The displays are durable enough that Sun Diego can keep them on all day, every day during store hours.

The NEC bundle came with everything Grandview needed for the displays, including mounts, a color calibration tool and spacing kit. NEC staff members were also readily available to provide technical support, if needed.

Grandview manages the content remotely and frequently swaps it out for Sun Diego to coincide with in-store promotions. The content includes footage professional videographers shot as well as brand-produced ads.

"Sun Diego is rewarding customers by enhancing the shopping experience with large, HD footage of really good, beautiful surfing and the surfing lifestyle," Ravenel said. "And it also uses the wall as a way to communicate directly with customers."

Sun Diego can't quantify the ROI of the video wall yet, but Censoplano said that it's made a huge difference in the store's atmosphere. Eventually he hopes to be able to tie specific promotions to sales results. While this is the nine-store chain's first use of a video wall, it will likely include one when it renovates its Belmont Park location, as well as in any new stores.

"The video wall definitely impacts customer satisfaction," he said. "We've had so many compliments on the store. Just the reaction that we're getting from the look of the store and the combination of the modern video wall—when you leave, you think, ‘Whoa, that's really cool.'"