ZBD Displays Ltd

Vann's new 'ON' store shaping the future of consumer electronics with ZBD's digital price tags

Vann's Inc., an audio, video and appliance retailer launched its new concept store, 'ON', equipped with ZBD's digital price tags. The new store offers a specialized consumer electronics range and has a smaller footprint than its freestanding stores. 'ON', located in Missoula, MT, launched its new store format in mid-November in time for the Thanksgiving holidays and is their first store with a mall location.

Vann's is a multi-channel retailer, operating a number of larger retail stores in Montana combined with a strong online presence, all backed up by a commitment to first class customer service. The new store format focuses exclusively on products that the retailer believes will shape the future of consumer electronics, with 3000 square feet of sales floor dedicated to content-driven products including devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.

Traditional Vann's stores use paper price tags to display product and pricing information, but the team behind ‘ON’ were looking for a more innovative labeling solution and to move away from paper labels. The new format store was designed to position the retailer as a technology leader, and Vann’s selected ZBD's digital price tags to complement the brand new store concept. A combination of epop 50 (electronic point of purchase) and epop 500 displays have been implemented throughout the store, displaying the brand name, product description, price, SKU number, scannable barcode, and rebates, where applicable.

Vann's faced a number of challenges which prompted the decision to look at an alternative to paper labels: As product labels are usually updated daily, this proved time-consuming with paper; frequent industry price changes mean stores need to be able to respond quickly, often not viable with paper; and price matching is also commonplace. All of these processes can now be automated using ZBD's digital price tags.

The increasing popularity of short-timeframe sales within the consumer electronics sector also made it virtually impossible to implement promotions effectively. The ability to run 12-hour, even 4-hour promotions, is simply not scalable with a paper labeling solution. However, ZBD's digital price tags enable sales staff to remain on the store floor, serving customers, while maximizing the effectiveness of timed promotions.

Vann's ran a detailed cost analysis prior to implementation, and estimated that the payback period would be far quicker than paper. Matt Ranta, Marketing Manager at Vann’s Inc. explains, "Paper labels are not a cost-effective solution for us in the long-term. Having reviewed the options available, including a paper option initially, ZBD's solution was the only viable option, making it the natural choice for our new ‘ON’ store. ZBD was able to deliver everything expediently; the system has been extremely easy to implement and it’s very easy to use."

If the new concept store proves successful, Vann’s will open further ‘ON’ stores within Montana and beyond.


Notes for editors

About ZBD:

ZBD is a leader in the design and supply of electronic shelf edge labels and associated software solutions for the global retail industry. The company has developed the next generation of LCD, creating high-contrast bistability that requires no battery power to retain its image. ZBD's range of epaper displays provides retailers with a total store solution and the ability to manage and update pricing, product and promotional information at point of purchase, dynamically.

Formed in 2000 out of QinetiQ, ZBD is a pioneering company with its own R & D, full IPR and scalable manufacturing processes that enable it to deliver an epaper solution with practical commercial advantages for retailers.

For further information on ZBD, visit

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About Vann's:

Vann's, an audio, video and appliance specialist based in Missoula, has been serving Montana since 1961. Vann's, Inc consists of six retail stores — located in Billings, Bozeman, Flathead Valley, Hamilton, Helena and Missoula - and an E-commerce site. Vann's strives to provide a best-in-class customer experience and became a 100 percent employee-owned company in 2005.