Think of flip flops and you think of warm sand, bright sun and cool ocean breezes. Thanks to DMX Africa and the strategic combination of scent technology, energetic music and evocative signage, a visit to the new Flip Flop Shops in Pretoria will awaken your senses and remind you of the heady days of summer.
Flip Flop Shops, one of the fastest growing global retail chains, has opened its first two stores in Pretoria. Founded in 2004 and first franchised in 2008, the company now operates more than 100 shops globally with 150-plus in the worldwide development pipeline. It’s a proven concept, and one of the most important aspects of the retail chain’s success, is the experiential design incorporated into the shopping experience.
DMX Africa, affiliated to Mood Media International one of the world’s largest designers of in-store consumer experiences, provides the digital signage, in-store music and scent solutions for the Flip Flop Shops.
“Scent is an important part of our branding. Every visitor who walks into Flip Flop Shops is greeted by the subtle scent of coconut suntan oil,” says Chris Pavli, owner of the South African Flip Flop Shops. “You can literally see the memory recall happen on their faces and the scent recreates a memory of a beach vacation or poolside experience. It’s a perfect fit for the brand’s ‘free your toes’ motto.”
At 100m2, the Woodlands, Pretoria, outlet is the largest Flip Flop Shop in the world. It features a huge projection screen on the back feature wall, which is driven by DMA Africa’s digital signage software solution. Together with DMX Africa, the screen displays and provides a seven-day forecast of different cities in South Africa, features Flip Flop surf videos and other promotional videos, and simultaneously highlights store-specific promotions and specials. Although smaller, the second Flip Flop Shop in The Grove, Pretoria, has a similar format.
“All our branded content is pulled from the parent brand in the United States, but we customise the content according to our needs,” explains Pavli.
The audio and in-store music provided by DMX Africa, allows the store to select and change the styles of the music to suite the stores operating environment which is used to enhance the overall in store experience. The music was custom built for the Flip Flop brand, but also allows for the ability to take into account and tweak the audio style and energy levels to suite the local requirements. The music is day parted – meaning, “for example, the music at the end of the day is more energetic to help people get out of that afternoon slump, while the music in the morning is a little gentler for those shoppers who are still trying to wake up”, says Pavli.
Whether it’s for music or digital signage, DMX’s platforms provides centralised and flexible content management through an online portal. Content can be scheduled and shared across all locations, with customised content driven to individual branches as required.
Craig Perry, Head of Sales of DMX Africa, says retailers are increasingly turning to technology to create a more personal and engaging experience for shoppers. “Consumers are looking for experiences that connect with them on an emotional level. Consumers use their experiences to draw conclusions about a brand, so retailers that create a full sensory experience will build brand loyalty. If you provide a positive experience, they will choose to return to your store,” he says.
“We are proud to be a part of the launch of this forward-thinking, dynamic brand in South Africa and we look forward to working with Flip Flop Shops to achieve and build further on the great success on our shores.”