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    Wal-Mart to Roll Out 'In-Store Media Network of the Future'

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. - Wal-Mart Stores and San Francisco-based Premier Retail Networks (PRN), a wholly owned subsidiary of Thomson SA, unveiled plans for "the in-store media network of the future" last week at the Wal-Mart Network Annual Summit.

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. - Wal-Mart Stores and San Francisco-based Premier Retail Networks (PRN), a wholly owned subsidiary of Thomson SA, unveiled plans for "the in-store media network of the future" last week at the Wal-Mart Network Annual Summit.

    The launch of an Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) network at retail is designed to help Wal-Mart deliver a targeted media experience to shoppers. Wal-Mart said the new systems with IP technology offer content flexibility and a technology platform the retailer will build upon in 2007 and the years ahead.
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    The new network, which will consist of more than 100,000 flat panel screens, delivers product messaging tailored to key departments and customer segments on eye-level plasma screens. Endcap display channels will demonstrate the benefits of the products carried on specific endcaps.

    "The results of our extensive pilot research proves that targeting relevant programming to strategically important departments moves the needle on both brand awareness and sales while improving the shopper experience," said Mike Hiatt, director of internal media networks at Wal-Mart Stores, in a statement. "For that reason we are committed to making the network of the future the network of today."

    In a 20-store test conducted over the summer, product sales in the IPTV-equipped stores were at least 10 percent higher, according to an article on Mediaweek.com.

    Stephen Quinn, s.v.p. marketing at Wal-Mart, shared his view of the importance of in-store media, in a statement. "In-store media is becoming mainstream. The Wal-Mart Network is a powerful tool available to marketers to address the critical last ten yards, or what Procter & Gamble calls the 'First Moment of Truth.' Wal-Mart continues to offer the most expansive, most robust, and most effective in-store network in retailing. We are totally committed to making it an even more powerful tool for all of us."

    John Fleming, Wal-Mart's chief marketing officer, noted that the store is Wal-Mart's No. 1 media channel, since an estimated 84 percent of America shops in its stores.

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