When PlayNetwork, a provider of customized in-store entertainment for retail and hospitality environments, needed to develop an innovative new video display system for one of their large retail accounts, they came to Allen Products/ATM. The video concept supported a creative retail interior design theme–two video walls mounted on opposing sides of Hollister Co. clothing stores (a division of Abercrombie & Fitch) display live beach video content caught by cameras mounted under the pier at Huntington Beach, CA, also known as Surf City, USA.

Fifty Hollister stores nationwide were initially selected to be equipped with the large 55"x45" video displays, to be installed two per store. PlayNetwork researched extensively to find a vendor who could develop the framework required to meet the high-quality design and service requirements of the video system. PlayNetwork turned to Allen Products to assemble, test, package, and ship the 400-pound video displays.

"We needed a robust support mounting system that could house nine LCDs side by side," says Darrell Champagne, PlayNetwork’s VP of systems engineering. "It needed to withstand up to 5,000lbs of torque, so the system could be opened on hinges to facilitate installation and service."

Allen Products original sketch, and subsequent prototype, of their proposed framework met all of the specific needs for PlayNetwork’s concept, including strength, installation method, packaging design, serviceability and proposed cosmetic treatments. The complex "video window" features the nine 21" LCDs in a 3x3 configuration, two video signal distribution units and an AC power distribution system–packaged into an assembly just six" deep.

"Allen Products minimized the space required to support the video screens, fitting them tightly and neatly in a 3-by-3 configuration that resembled window panes," says Champagne. "They also stepped up to the task of mounting and pre-configuring the LCDs for us prior to boxing up the units for shipment, which greatly reduces the time it takes to get systems installed at Hollister stores."

To capture optimum retail market impact, Hollister needed the video walls installed in a short timeframe, so Allen Products further developed a reusable packaging system to safely ship the 400-pound units across the country, including Hawaii. "Allen Products did a great job managing the fabrication and shipping logistics to meet our compressed installation schedule. Their contribution was key in helping PlayNetwork deliver a consistent 'beach video experience' in Hollister stores across the country," explains Champagne.

It has now been a year since the first video displays were installed. The program has proven to be a huge success and Hollister has now begun rolling out the second phase of this program to many more of their 150 stores.