Edinburgh-based Black Light has continued its work with one of the UK’s leading football clubs by outfitting Arsenal’s flagship shop at the Emirates Stadium with the latest in sound and AV technology.
The brief for the project was to install sound and AV systems throughout the newly refurbished Armoury store. This cutting-edge retail space is located below the podium at the west side of Emirates Stadium close to Holloway Road. It features the full range of Puma kit and Arsenal fashion and merchandise for men, women and children.
“This project was the second time that we have worked on a retail project for the club,” said Phil Haldane, who led Black Light’s installation team. “Our client for the job was 442 Design and, as we’d worked with them before on the club’s shop at Brent Cross Shopping Centre, they were confident in our technical and creative abilities.”
“The equipment we put in place included large videowall display screens, digital signage systems, state-of-the-art sound and a stunning video ‘waterfall’ made from various orientations of screens,” says Haldane. “This waterfall is the centrepiece of the installation and greets visitors as they walk into the store, arching up and over them. It can display a single image across all of the monitors or cascade video content down the screens.”
The main challenge posed by the commissioning of the video waterfall was ensuring that the orientation and spacing of the monitors was correct, so that any image would look correct across all displays.
Black Light’s team also took on the task of commissioning a Datapath system (to control video content), a ONELAN digital signage system and a QSC Q-Sys audio processing, control and management system. All these control systems had to be intuitive to use and flexible enough to allow maximum creativity within the store.
One particularly innovative feature that Black Light created for the store was in its changing rooms. Each changing room was themed individually as either an underground tube station, a football pitch or a press conference. To add to this ‘illusion’, Black Light’s technicians installed interactive audio systems within each space. This means that when a customer enters one of the changing rooms, an appropriate audio loop is triggered and plays until they exit.
The refurbishment of the new store (which was stripped back to an empty shell) presented a series of challenges, as Black Light’s team had to work alongside other trades to a tight deadline to get everything ready for the store’s high-profile grand opening. The results show just how well the company met these targets and exceeded its client’s expectations. The success of the project at the Armoury store showcases Black Light’s technical expertise and creativity and the fact that its team can deliver exceptional installations that bring interactivity and excitement to the retail environment.