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LG Equips Citizen Watch Shop With Mesmerizing Augmented Reality Display Case

LG helps Citizen Watch set itself apart from competitors with a phydigital retail shopping experience with transparent OLED technology.

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The Citizen Watch shop in a major department store in New York City overlays mesmerizing high-impact digital visuals onto a watch display case to pull viewers in as it showcases the real watches behind the graphics. The innovative retail project is the brainchild of Citizen Watch with Pac Team Group designers, the design-build firm Luminary Design Co. and LG Business Solutions USA. 

Situated in a recognizable and heavily trafficked retail location, Citizen Watch wanted to stand out among its competitors. The core goal with the location was to present a highly engaging sales video that doesn’t require a salesperson and effectively mirrors the digital 360-degree product examination that online shopping has normalized. It was crucial that the technology and digital content in the store be seamless, easy to understand and not get in the way of sales, while also remaining passive so customers can shop and learn at their leisure

Designing a Digital Shopping Experience

Recognizing the engaging effects of vivid digital content, it was clear that a technological approach would be the most appropriate for today’s shoppers who expect clarity and modernity when researching purchases or forming brand loyalties. The store designers at Pac Team Group contacted LG, which helped in choosing the best products and introduced the team to the digital experiential experts at Luminary Design Co.

Luminary imagined an experience that pairs the depth of online shopping with the tactile benefits of physical retail. The result is a captivating product showcase that elevates and transforms real watches through coordinated visual effects, practical product information and synchronized showcase lighting. All the elements combine to turn shopping for a watch into an informative and exciting new experience for customers.

Luminary leveraged its experience with the LG Transparent OLED technology to make it virtually “disappear,” creating something that fit seamlessly into Pac Team’s retail environment – something that didn’t look like technology at all. What appears to be an ordinary display case can suddenly transform into an immersive product demonstration unlike anything people have ever experienced, creating a rare moment of genuine surprise and delight. 

The LG Display Solution for  Citizen Watch

The new display and sales experience didn’t even require all-new content creation, instead relying on a combination of re-tooled commercial assets and custom VFX produced by The CSI Group. Dynamic animations move and shift from individual product features to full-screen content takeovers, even including moments where one half of the display case is transparent, while the other half plays a thrilling product video.

The visuals are tied directly to physical watches through carefully timed reveals using “Transparent Squares” within the video content. Once a watch is revealed, floating 3D animations emerge from the physical timepieces and fill the screen to provide larger than life 360° views of each model.

The final video is a nearly 10-minute loop that examines the inner workings of Citizen’s famous timepieces, with the existing video repurposed and altered to leverage the specific strengths of transparent display technology, including graphics that appear holographic. The content production for the display is form of art on its own— the small details can make on-screen imagery appear magical in ways that no other display technology can. 

Experiment Store Concept Pays Off  

The augmented reality display case uses cutting-edge LG display technology that very few consumers have seen before. Visitors are immediately drawn to it. 

​​Considered to be among the world’s first consumer-facing uses of an augmented reality display case, it’s common for one to call it “the next generation of physical retail.” And it’s easy to see why— Citizen Watch noted an immediate uptick in traffic volume and sell-through rates. For the company and its customers, the concept store is a hit.

Citizen believes the success of this admittedly experimental store concept is going to push competitors to try to match its experience, or perhaps consider other cutting-edge technologies to enhance the physical retail journey. Internally, Citizen has already recognized other ways LG Transparent OLED displays could be used, even in their smaller stores.  

As customer expectations ebb and flow, Citizen is always looking for what’s next, and this semi-automated demo and sales system is perfect for promoting their products without a sales associate

The store has a gravitational pull that others simply don’t have, which generates valuable brand recognition and respect while increasing traffic and subsequent sales. 

Equipment Highlights 

LG Transparent OLED Technology