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Run up the stairs to increase your Sports Experts reduction

Matthieu JOLLY
3 minutes

Sports Experts Canada

To be on form, Sports Experts encourages you to change your daily habits by taking the stairs instead of the escalator. How? By offering you a discount in proportion to your efforts.


For fifty years, Canadian retailer Sports Experts‘ mission has been to promote physical activity and sports. True to its base line “Stay fit, live well”, for its 50th anniversary it has installed a dispenser for money-off coupons in one of Montreal’s metro stations twenty-seven metres underground. Aim: encourage users to take exercise by “rewarding those who take the stairs rather than the escalators.”

The Thermal Discount, an interactive screen with a thermal imaging camera, has been placed at the top of the stairs of the Lucien L’Allier station. When you stand in front of the screen, it measures your body heat and calculates a percentage. The percentage is the value of the discount you are offered.

sports experts canada

So the more you take exercise, the hotter you are and the bigger your discount! So it is hardly surprising that some people who took the escalator “went back down and took the stairs up two or three times to raise their body temperature. Some even went as far as doing push-ups on the spot.”


With the digital explosion, brands and retailers can no longer allow themselves to wait for their customers in the warmth of their retail outlets or their web site. They have to go out and meet them in their everyday life, their homes and their travel. The Canadian initiative echoes the campaign rolled out one year ago in Poland by the medicine brand Theraflu. Installed in a busy street, its Thermoscanner let people take their temperature to diagnose the symptoms of influenza.

While both campaigns are above all media stunts and are not intended to become permanent, they nonetheless raise questions about the role of the window display in retail outlets. In this digital age, its role has not changed: catch the attention of passers-by to encourage them to enter the store. But how many of them really manage to achieve this? Too few!

That said, we should mention Galeria Kaufhof in Germany who, with its digital window Christmas display, attracts children marvelling at the Christmas displays and, when the game is over, encourages them to enter the department store to collect their surprise. Gifts, advice or personalized money-off coupon, in all three cases the Enhancement market driver stops passers-by and creates a fixed point in order to communicate with them.


So one question remains: why are such initiatives still occasional? While their children are playing a video game in the window of a children’s clothes store, the mothers would discover the brand’s new products and the current special offers. For their part, the shopkeepers could join forces with the banks in the neighbourhood and issue promotional offers from the screens of the cash dispensers.


So in this age of mobile commerce, we are seeing the emergence of the commerce screen. In fact both are complementary and are levers for engaging with the consumer in an increasingly ambient customer relationship.

Matthieu JOLLY
Facing with the changes in retail, today's innovations help Matthew to think about tomorrow's relationship between the brand and the consumer.
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