Wal-Mart to begin rolling out in-store network

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Wal-Mart will begin rolling out an in-store digital network later this month to 2,700 stores. The retailer anticipates that the chain-wide deployment of 27,000 screens and its new Wal-Mart Smart Network will be completed by early 2010.

The network is the result of two years and $10 million of research and development by the retail giant to identify the best locations, applications and programming to reach its millions of weekly customers. It is supported by a flexible, open enterprise platform powered by Internet protocol television, allowing Wal-Mart to monitor and control the network screens.

The network will also use response management and message optimization technologies from DS-IQ to enable delivery of relevant content to shoppers by store, by screen, by day and by time of day. Studio2, a newly formed company involved in the testing and development of the network, will provide the network's custom content. 

“We've built a network tailored to the way consumers shop our stores — delivering helpful, custom, content closest to the point of decision — that helps them shop smarter,” said Stephen Quinn, CMO of Wal-Mart Stores US, in a statement.

Thomson's Premier Retail Networks will handle advertising sales for the network.

The screens will be located near the entrance of Wal-Mart Supercenters, in grocery, health & beauty and electronics departments and on endcap displays.

“One of the biggest challenges you face as an advertiser these days is really understanding your target audience in such a way that you know the best place to connect them with your message so that it can have the most impact,” said Kim Miller, VP of marketing at Kellogg, in a statement. “I believe moving forward, advertising at the point of sale will become increasingly important to win the market. The results we've seen during tests of the new Wal-Mart Smart Network have been impressive."

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