Regular readers of the blog will know we’ve made quite a few entries about the present state of the UK retail industry and how the current economic climate and changes in shopping habits have caused a decline in high street sales, causing closures and leaving many empty storefronts in the heart of our towns. Our main focus has been on how retailers are dealing with the adverse conditions – to innovate and adapt – with pop-up shops and other creative marketing ideas, so this week we were tickled to see this attention-grabbing interactive window display/art installation in an empty store window in Sherbrooke, Canada.
À Louer/For Rent is an installation by artist Niklas Roy – it his attempt to market an empty shop to potential tenants. Empty store fronts such as these have become so prolific in recent times that one barely notices the ‘for rent’ signs in the windows of many of our closed high street stores – as Roy explains:
“Sherbrooke’s downtown has many abandoned shop fronts. My installation was set up in one of them. And as nobody likes to stroll in roads with empty shop windows, I wanted to do this retail space a favour and help it to find a new tenant who can care about it”,
The installation uses a surveillance camera to track passers by and moves the sign alongside them as they walk beside the window display – a bit like a persistent yet polite sales person. Check out this YouTube clip to see the sign in action:
Could it catch on here? And would it become annoying? Another innovative idea for us to ponder – what do you think?