Oakes Farms Seed to Table
Oakes Farms, headquartered in Naples, Florida, opened their 74,000-square-foot specialty grocery store in November 2019. A key part of their strategy was to incorporate over 100 digital displays throughout the store to emphasize the farm-to-table food offerings and from-scratch meal options available to customers. The displays were intended to be part of the overall interior design of the store, and the implementation includes digital displays of various shapes, sizes, placements and orientation to seamlessly provide customers with information and ideas, while reinforcing the overall message of the Seed to Table experience.
There were a few unique challenges to this exciting project. First, the digital deployment had to be undertaken on a tight time frame while the store itself was under construction. There were swarms of contractors and tradesmen in the store daily, and changes were being made in real time. Secondly, Real Digital Media was brought in after a previous vendor was unable to meet the technical and business objectives of the project. This required us to support new to market media players from Lenovo and specialty displays from InStore Screen, and to use the store itself as a test lab during construction. We brought engineers to the store and worked with the design, content and networking teams on-site to manage the process. The flexibility of our NEOCAST digital signage platform was the key in making the most complex pieces work as designed. In addition to our drive to make the project a success, we were happily fueled by house-made pastries, artisan pizzas and other delights as the culinary leaders put their equipment, recipes and teams through their paces while we obsessed over the in-store digital experience.
The various digital displays were intended to be part of the overall interior store design, and the implementation includes displays well outside the norm of 16:9 aspect ratios. There were square screens, stretch displays of various sizes and orientations, and multi-screen arrays helping to seamlessly provide customers with contextually relevant information and ideas, while reinforcing the overall message of the Seed to Table experience. Perhaps the most stunning deployment was a 32-foot section in the pasta aisle, which included 8 daisy chained 4-foot headers and sixteen 4-foot sections of shelf edge displays. The entire array is powered by a single media player. A matching 32-foot section about 30 feet away features bulk nuts, nut butters and associated merchandise with dramatic effect. These installations demonstrate the future of digital retailing: engagement, utility and ROI based upon new ways of thinking about displays, content and content management.
Customer acceptance of the digital footprint at Seed to Table has been overwhelmingly positive. The combination of design, execution and storytelling content has boosted engagement and effectiveness. Customers and store associates responded very well to the new-to-market square screens, stretch screens and double-sided aisle displays. They blended in well with the wood and tile of the store to create an ambient, informative and immersive shopping experience.
Key partners on this novel and exciting project were InStore Screen and Lenovo. A hat tip also to content partner Grupo Arquimagenes of Costa Rica who was creating content in a construction zone.
The Oakes Farms Seed to Table store has become a must-see retail experience. Within weeks of opening, food retailers from around the world had visited this flagship store in Naples to see the innovations in presentation, concept and digital engagement coming together. Expect to see many of these concepts find their way into larger food retail organizations.
About Oakes Farms
Oakes Farms is one of the largest independently owned agribusiness operations in South Florida. Headquartered in Collier County, Florida, Oakes Farms maintains a diversified portfolio of services that reach a global market and include farming, packing, shipping, retail markets and food service and seafood distribution.
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