Microsigns Inc

Alaska Communications Turns On MicroSigns To Elevate Wireless Shopping Experience

Deployment of innovative digital retail displays in regional carrier’s new flagship store marks start of state-wide rollout.

ANCHORAGE, AK – Shoppers looking over the latest wireless devices at Alaska Communications stores are using MicroSigns’ digital pricing displays to get the rich, detailed and always accurate information they need to make buying decisions.

MicroSigns digital merchandising displays – small interactive LCDs that replace paper fact sheets on display counters – are now operating at Alaska Communications’ new flagship retail store, which opened Dec. 4 in Anchorage. The regional wireless carrier will equip additional stores with MicroPlayer displays in 2011.

The networked displays are set on demo counters immediately beside featured phone handsets. Customers use integrated touch buttons to page through extensive detail - in text, images and video - about each device’s key features and technical specifications. The MicroPlayers also carry accurate pricing, service plans and accessories information. Each is tied securely through the MicroSigns management network platform into the Alaska Communications “back-office” system that manages the steadily fluctuating SKUs, rates and promotions typical in wireless retailing.

“Our technology is much more than just screens,” says Michael Palmer, co-founder and CEO of the Montreal-based company. “There is a whole system behind it that really pays off for retailers and their staff.”

“For those of us who are updating information from the corporate office, within five minutes we can add new information and have it seen in the retail space,” says Angela Cummings, marketing manager for Alaska Communications.

When sales associates are engaged with other customers, shoppers can spend that waiting time using MicroSigns displays to independently research handsets and service plans, and filter their choices. That speeds up the product education and transaction process for both buyers and sellers.

Developed and manufactured in Canada, MicroSigns’ bundled hardware and software platform is specifically designed to improve the buying experience and add efficiency, accuracy and far more engaging shopper marketing for wireless retailers and their manufacturing partners.

MicroSigns has active retail installations with wireless retailers and carriers in Europe, but this marks the first use of MicroSigns with a U.S. retailer,” notes Palmer. “One of the things I like most about this project is how our technology fits so nicely into the clean lines of the store design. I also appreciate the determination our client had to give its customers a streamlined, information-rich experience.”

The 4,000-square-foot flagship store is the first Alaska Communications store to feature signature architecture branding and interactive service experiences.

“This store is a significant milestone for us. We worked with our partners at Anchorage-based kpb architects to incorporate an innovative design that reflects our new brand,” says Marla Thompson, Alaska Communications’ vice president of consumer sales & service. “It represents our ongoing commitment to expand our retail presence in Alaska and provide our customers with a unique, hands-on retail experience. We want it to be a place for people to shop, learn and be inspired.”

Low-wattage MicroPlayers also contribute to Alaska Communications’ eco-friendly business practices, by minimizing energy consumption and reducing the paper waste of “fact tags” at each featured handset station.

MicroPlayers are 3.5- inch color LCD screens with built-in media players. MicroPlayers support video, animations, images and text, allowing marketing efforts from broadcast, online and print to be extended all the way to the shelf-edge in stores. Running on the networked MicroSigns management platform, featured devices, promotions and pricing can all be managed remotely from a web browser – delivering dramatic improvements in efficiency and accuracy for retailers.
About Alaska Communications
Headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska Communications Systems Group, Inc. (“ACS”) (NASDAQ: ALSK), through its subsidiaries, provides Alaska Communications services and is Alaska's leading provider of broadband and other wireline and wireless solutions across businesses and consumers. The Alaska Communications wireline operations include the state's most advanced data networks and the most diverse undersea fiber optic system connecting Alaska to the contiguous United States. The company’s wireless operations include a statewide 3G CDMA network, reaching across Alaska from the North Slope to Ketchikan, with coverage extended via best-in-class CDMA carriers in the Lower 49 and Canada. By investing in the fastest-growing market segments and attracting the highest-quality customers, Alaska Communications seeks to drive top and bottom-line growth, while continually improving the customer experience and cost structure through process improvement. More information can be found on the company's website at or at its investor site at

About MicroSigns
MicroSigns is a retail-technology company that designs and manufactures wireless networked merchandising solutions that help mobile phone carriers enhance the in-store selling process and improve in-store customer experiences.
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ACS Corporate Communications:
Heather Cavanaugh, Director, Corporate Communications
(907) 564-7722

Brian Stafford, Vice-President of Sales
(514) 274-4548 x103