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Leyard Europe delivers interactive LED displays for Van Marcke’s world-first fully digital showroom in Antwerp
Belgium – For nearly a century, Van Marcke, the Belgian family business and international wholesaler of industry-leading brands for sanitary, heating and renewable energy solutions, has been providing products and services that offer sustainable comfort to its customers. Earlier this year, it unveiled a groundbreaking achievement: an entirely digital showroom at its Van Marcke Lab in Antwerp. Despite its compact size of just 80m², this unique concept and experience store uses Leyard Europe VEM-series screen walls to empower visitors to create their personalised bathroom. The cutting-edge LED displays, provided and installed by Ocular, a technology company specialising in immersive and interactive installations, enables visitors to digitally assemble their dream bathroom, visualise it in life-size scale and bring it to life in 3D within their own bathroom space with the guidance of an interior consultant.
Charlotte Packet, merchandising manager at Van Marcke, notes that today’s customers are accustomed to incorporating digital elements into their shopping experiences, even for significant purchases like kitchens, properties and cars. “The growing demand for personalisation among our customers prompted Van Marcke to embark on a unique and innovative project aimed at making the online purchase of technically complex products, such as bathrooms, more comfortable and tailored to individual needs,” she says.
To bring the concept to life, Van Marcke collaborated with Ocular, leveraging their positive prior experience of working together on a technically demanding project for the Batibouw 2020 exhibition.
"This time, Van Marcke approached us with a request to develop an innovative showroom concept that minimises the need for physical products," says Nicolas Vanden Avenne, Ocular’s founder and CEO. "We were involved right from the start and suggested leveraging Leyard Europe's LED technology and deep screen capabilities, which gives the illusion of 3D depth on a flat surface. Additionally, we assisted in selecting a partner for rendering the content."
Upon entering the Van Marcke Lab concept store, customers are introduced to its product range through interactive touchscreens. The chosen product combinations are then brought to life on the large Leyard Europe LED screens via deep screen technology. Van Marcke's interior consultants assist in placing the product combinations in the customer’s bathroom using an interactive drawing table. The result is visualised in 3D and a price quote is provided. According to Charlotte Packet, this type of experience aims to meet customer’s expectation for a comprehensive, 360-degree solution.
The Ocular team installed four VEM1.5 LED walls, each measuring 2.4m by 2.4m and one larger high brightness Leyard LPO2.9 LED wall standing at 4m high and 2.5m wide. Nicholas Vanden Avenne notes that the content is rendered in such a way that it makes the customer feel like they are stepping inside their dream bathroom.
“We chose Leyard’s LED solution because of their European production site, short lead time, reliable technical support and outstanding product quality,” says Nicholas Vanden Avenne. “Having high-quality visualisation technology was crucial in creating the impression that visitors are truly immersed in a life-like bathroom environment with the products on display and Leyard’s LED screens perfectly fulfilled these requirements.”
Commending the high level of support received from the Leyard Europe team, Nicholas Vanden Avenne highlights their technical assistance during the pre-sales, sales, and execution process. “The support provided by Leyard went beyond addressing straightforward mechanical questions, as we also received valuable assistance on more intricate enquiries regarding controls and electronics. This support was instrumental in ensuring the overall success of the project,” he adds.
“The presence of Leyard's showroom in Antwerp was undoubtedly advantageous, as it allowed us to invite the Van Marcke team to experience various LED solutions that could meet their specific requirements,” explains Cris Tanghe, vice president product Europe at Leyard Europe. “With different form factors and pixel pitches available, we were able to create a precisely tailored video wall that perfectly fits the store's space and reproduces the stunning photo-realistic 3D visuals created by a partner of Ocular and utilised the deep screen technology to create the impression of being ‘inside the bathroom’.”
Having completed the project at the beginning of April and with the store opened in May, Van Marcke has received positive feedback from its customers, serving as living proof that it is possible to create an ultra-personal and interactive experience, even within a limited space.
"Thanks to Ocular's involvement, their expertise, and their ability to connect us with the right partners like Leyard Europe, we were able to create a highly intuitive experience for the end user," says Charlotte Packet. "We felt that all components seamlessly came together, with all teams working as a cohesive unit to deliver a stunning result."
“At Ocular, we always strive for comprehensive solutions where everything aligns and the right partners are involved,” concludes Nicholas Vanden Avenne. “We firmly believe in technology serving its purpose, rather than just being a gimmick. For this project, we once again found our perfect match with Leyard Europe, both in selecting the ideal product that precisely met the client’s requirements, and in their exceptional work ethic and support throughout the entire project.”
21st September 2023
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