“The world is not as it was, and neither is retail.” This is the sentiment that led to the creation of EGG, one of South Africa’s most innovative retail attractions. Located in the award-winning shopping destination of Cavendish Square in Cape Town, SA, EGG is a futuristic concept described as an ‘omni-channel platform’ that combines the best elements of the physical shopping experience with digital innovation. EGG seeks to provide a world-class shopping experience that promotes both local and international brands, brought to life by an innovative e-commerce platform and interactive consumer app. Prominent AV solutions experts Stage Audio Works were called on to supply audio-visual equipment that delivered an immersive experience, spanning the 2,700m2 space.
Working to the brief supplied by Shawn Godfrey of retail solutions specialists Lumalytic, and interior designers, TDC & Co., it was SAW’s job to design, supply and install the AV systems. SAW integrated the best of current technologies, providing the solutions for audio, video, lighting as well as overall system-wide control. The scale, detail and innovation involved earned SAW a shortlisting for the 2021 InAVation Awards in the retail category.
Mike Summerfield, distribution sales manager at SAW elaborates: “We are delighted to support the EGG initiative in South Africa with our expertise in AV supply and conceptualisation. It is exactly the sort of ambitious, forward-thinking project that SAW excels in materialising. Working in tandem with Shawn Godfrey, our role was to bring the project to life, providing the technological solutions required. EGG truly offers a unique retail experience that has never been witnessed before in South Africa.”
For store-wide background music, paging and announcements, SAW designed a twelve-zone distributed system comprising 104 Audac speakers, suspended in clusters of four to allow for 360-degree coverage. These were supplemented by twelve Audac subwoofers to provide depth and fullness of sound. SAW crafted a separate system for the central entertainment zone, equipping it with more powerful Yamaha speakers which are better suited for live performance. A Pioneer DJM-900 Mixer and two CDJ-900 Nexus CD players complete the picture.
The entire audio system runs on a Dante network with control via Q-SYS which allows any input to be routed to any of the 12 zones for optimum flexibility. Two touch panels with specially designed custom GUIs were installed to control audio, video and lighting equipment throughout the store, and staff communications were similarly streamlined via an Atterotech Paging Station.
SAW matched this high standard of sound design with a comprehensive video system. Five Pixel Plus P2.5mm LED digital signage screens, supported by a further two LCD screens for the entertainment zone, were positioned strategically around the site, with the intention of encouraging natural flow and promoting brand awareness. Video playback is handled by five quad-output Lenovo Thinkstation P330s, triggered via Q-SYS scheduling, allowing the client to adapt the experience across the store at their discretion.
In terms of lighting, SAW was tasked with equipping the central entertainment zone, one of the focal points of the store. This area would experience a lot of footfall and was a brilliant chance to showcase SAW’s conceptualisation of lighting solutions. “Our clients had a clear vision of how they wanted the space to look and feel,” says Summerfield. “The operative word was dynamic. To achieve this, we installed an array of Cameo PAR Wash lights and ACME Profile moving head LEDs, controlled with a High End System Hog 4 Widget triggered by the Q-SYS system. We were also asked to supply a pixel arch which we created by running over 65m of RGB pixel tape controlled by a DMX module across a series of specially created arch structures. I have to say it looks really cool!”
Commenting on the success of the project, CTO Nathan Ihlenfeldt states: “The EGG project was a fantastic opportunity to showcase SAW’s potential to supply large scale, cutting edge technological solutions. We are thrilled to align ourselves with a progressive enterprise that is taking steps to evolve the modern retail experience, in South Africa, and the rest of the world.”
System-wide control is managed by the Q-SYS control system from QSC. Two 8in touch panels with specially designed custom UIs offer easy, fingertip control for audio, video and lighting. Finally, SAW also supplied the venue with an Atterotech Zip4 Paging Station, allowing staff to page relevant messages to any section of the store with ease.
Commenting on the success of the project, SAW CTO Nathan Ihlenfeldt states: “The EGG project was a fantastic opportunity to showcase SAW’s potential to supply large scale, cutting edge technological solutions. We are thrilled to align ourselves with a progressive enterprise that is taking steps to evolve the modern retail experience, in South Africa, and the rest of the world.”