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Wickes in the UK opened its first store in 1972 in Whitefield, Manchester selling DIY products to the trade. The company discovered that stocking their own-brand products gave them a competitive advantage in the builders’ merchant market, enabling them to offer quality products at consistently low prices. Wickes are well known in the industry for producing quality and well-performing products. Their advertising campaigns focus mainly on building trust in the products, checking that each one is up to the job and can be relied upon by their customers.

The company also takes pride in being an innovative multi-channel retailer. Customers can purchase products in-store, or from their mobile phones and laptops whilst getting DIY help & advice from the free “Good Idea” leaflets or by viewing the “How-to” videos online. It is this innovation and technology that Wickes wanted Cestrian’s help with; to incorporate it into their point of sale (PoS).


The original brief was to design and produce a POS display solution for Wickes to incorporate TV screens into in-store communications. The screens were for consumers to browse the Wickes website for products not available in-store or to display timely promotions and offers. The solution would then to be rolled out into all new concept stores.


Wickes liked the idea of using background graphics to frame the technology, but the structure had to be strong enough to hold TV screens, shelves for keyboards and other appropriate technology for consumers to utilise. The screens, keyboards and technology for the digital display were to be sourced by Cestrian. The solution was to be suitable for a range of installation methods including wall mounted, floor standing and fixed to the end of aisles. With the expected amount of people using the screens, it was imperative that the solution met health and safety standards.


Cestrian proposed a tension fabric system in a specific size profile that was ideal for the number of installation methods required. The system allowed for screens and shelving to be fitted securely into the structure, whilst the fabric could display high quality graphics that fitted neatly to hide any wiring. The fabric is easy to remove and replace by store employees and is low-cost to replace for any future customer wear and tear. Cestrian sourced a mini PC and industrial keyboard for the website browsing unit and appropriate USB sticks that could be uploaded to the screens for the in-store offers and promotions. The structure was tested in Cestrian’s Print Hub to ensure that the floor standing versions were sturdy enough for passing footfall and the shelves were strong enough to take people’s weight. To ensure minimal installation disruption, each unit was built fully in the Hub and then delivered and installed at each location.


The tension fabric system provided the following benefits: - Standardised solution allowing for location variation whist ensuring store-to-store consistency. - Slick method of incorporating technology into print and increasing consumer interactivity. - Allowed for store employees to react quickly with their promotional activity. - Simple and easy to build- resulting in cost-effective installation and maintenance. Fabric graphics are the fast and easiest way to update and modernise any retail point of sale.


“We have just finished the store walk. As usual you have all done a fantastic job and the store looks amazing. Customers like the new store, which is good. Thank you all, you have all managed to open another store in record time and with everything in place for opening.” “The store walk round with the Manager’s went very well and they really appreciated all your hard work. Ian said "tell the team 10 out of 10". So a MASSIVE THANK YOU, it would not have happened without all of you. They loved the foyer area with the TV's and website and they thought fabric systems framed the Trade area well. The customers have not stopped coming in this morning.”

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