LONDON, Ontario — EK3 Technologies Inc., a digital merchandising firm, has announced an original in-store program recently launched in Wal-Mart Canada stores. Under the agreement between ShopCast, a subsidiary of EK3, and Wal-Mart Canada, digital displays will be installed in all Wal-Mart Canada stores by the end of 2008.
 
Mike Dombrow, director of marketing for Wal-Mart Canada Corp., will discuss the company's use of a new in-store narrowcasting strategy, which revolves around "Lisa," an animated character designed to build customer loyalty and improve the shopping experience, at the National Retail Federation show Jan. 14. He is scheduled to talk about the company's new narrowcasting strategies following the deal reached with EK3 and ShopCast, which oversees the Wal-Mart Canada program.
 
Sixty stores already have been wired and have begun airing "Lisa" episodes — which include the central character, her husband, three children and a family. Future "Lisa Family" shows are slated to be introduced in early 2008 in Wal-Mart Canada stores.
 
"We've done some digital signage in the past, but that industry is changing about as fast as our customers' habits and this program will allow us to keep up," Dombrow said. "We think this innovative program will enhance the Wal-Mart shopping experience while building customer loyalty. We look forward to discussing this unique, innovative merchandising strategy at NRF."
 
Wal-Mart Canada officials said customized content — beyond traditional advertisements — is the best way to maximize digital merchandising products and programs.
 
"The most progressive and innovative users of digital signage are realizing its amazing potential as a digital merchandising tool and we are happy Wal-Mart shares our vision for a narrowcasting network," said Camilla Gergely, marketing communications director for EK3. "This program has begun to build a nationally recognizable character associated with Wal-Mart but at the same time allows for a distinctly local feel within each location."

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