On 2 October it took place the "II Conference of Lighting and AV in the retail sector" at the Escuela Superior de Disseny IED of Barcelona. This event was organized by CICAT Lighting Cluster and Secartys. Juan José Vila, Product Manager of Equipson and vice chairman of the area of professional Lighting and Audio of Secartys, took part as speaker in the talk entitled "AV in retail: setting the pace of sales" along with Conrado Martínez, President of Trison Acústica, an important installer company. The aim of this talk was to discuss the current market trends and problems of the sector as well as analyse success stories in order to draw conclusions.
Both speakers broached different relevant subjects such as the importance of audio system's design and its integration in the store, the development of control devices and the possibility to control them through smartphones or tablets, without the need of technological knowledge, and the new trends in merchandising to boost sales and increase the profitability of the point of sale.
Specifically, both speakers wanted to stress that the background music system, which became very popular during the seventies didn't work because of two main reasons: the lack of charm in the design of the loudspeakers and the material used, because it optimized the intelligibility of the messages but didn't do the same with the quality of the music. On the other hand, the speakers stressed the problem with the de-professionalization of the sector and the impact it has over the installations. Both speakers agreed that it is necessary the knowledge of an audio specialist and a well defined project in order to get the most out of an installation.
As experts in the sector and in the national and international audio market, Juan José Vila and Conrado Martínez informed every attendee with the available audio systems and the possibilities they offer to create atmospheres in the point of sales where customers feel comfortable, informed and, of course, motivated to buy the products displayed. Vila claimed that "a good choice in the audio content and its quality will impact on the customer's behaviour and on its perception of the store". This result in an increase on the sales.
The end of the talk was dedicated to the two main factors that have been essential in the success of the audio in the retail sector. On one hand, the signal processor tools available nowadays which, for a reasonable cost, ensure a good quality and intelligibility of the audio. On the other hand, the importance of the efforts made by the manufacturers to enhance the design of the loudspeakers and its integration in the stores. This factor has allowed to mix a good quality audio offered thanks to the developments of the technology and the interior design of the stores.