Shakespeare & Co. Creates a Stimulating in-store experience

Old School Revival

In the age of online retail, brick-and-mortar stores can no longer conduct business as usual and expect to thrive. New multi-sensory experiences are more important than ever to bring customers back into physical stores and leave a lasting impression that keeps them coming back for more.

No one understands this better than Shakespeare & Co, an old school bookstore that has resided in Manhattan’s Upper East Side for over twenty years. The café, bookstore combo serves as a sanctuary for customers who want to read, write, and purchase locally blended coffee. Though nostalgic in its offerings and overall design, Shakespeare & Co is no stranger to innovative technology experiences; they are well-known for their espresso book machine that can print books on the spot in the same amount of time it takes to make an espresso.

With the opening of the retailer’s first location outside of Manhattan in Center City Philadelphia – only two blocks away from a big box Barnes & Noble – they wanted to create an experience that activated all of their customer’s senses. They looked for an innovative solution that allowed them to build upon their existing in-store experience, while still aligning perfectly with their brand.

Shakespeare and co Split Flap

With the opening of the retailer’s first location outside of Manhattan in Center City Philadelphia – only two blocks away from a big box Barnes & Noble – they wanted to create an experience that activated all of their customer’s senses. They looked for an innovative solution that allowed them to build upon their existing in-store experience, while still aligning perfectly with their brand.

espresso Split Flap

Split Flap for the Books

Shakespeare and Co decided to install a 2R x 24C Split Flap Display from Oat Foundry. Their goal was to seamlessly tie it into the coveted espresso book machine experience. Resembling an industrial printer, the printing press (a 3D printer) uses recycled paper to produce bookstore-quality paperback books to order in the same amount of time that it takes to brew an espresso. For just $15.99, customers can simply hop on over to the machine and print out a book not available in hardcopy.

Now, sitting right above the instant book printer in their new Philadelphia location, the Split Flap display showcases the title of the book currently printing in real time. The display’s familiar ‘clacking’, reminiscent of an old train station of years past, creates a moment of anticipation as customers look on and wait for the display to reveal which book the machine is printing next.  And, with a custom integration, the split flap display is able to track the total number of books printed globally by the brand, automatically updating the information to the display while no books are printing.

Shakespeare & Co.’s new split flap preserves their heritage as a classic brand, while engaging the senses of its customers. They can see the flaps changing, hear them in motion, and smell the coffee brewing. This unique experience, found only in Shakespeare & Co’s store, leaves customers feeling excited to return again and again.

Split FLap in Action

Shakespeare Split Flap

Create A Unique Retail Space

If you’re looking to create a unique activation for your retail space, because of the flexibility that the Split Flap and API integration offers, the sky is the limit. If you are interested in incorporating a Split Flap display into your next project, please contact us here.

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