With approximately 1000 employees, Kjell & Company has over 100 stores in Sweden and 15 stores in Norway. Its headquarters are in Malmö. Kjell already has a surveillance system that uses Axis’ network cameras in its stores in Norway and Sweden. All of the stores have the same system for monitoring the cash register area, entrances and store shelves for the safety and security of the staff and customers.
Approximately 1100 Axis devices, including both cameras and audio products, are installed. It is a cost-effective and flexible solution with very good quality and stability.
Kjell previously used in-store PCs to stream music. This was a challenging set-up, as the PCs were not dedicated to only managing daily music and were also used for many other daily tasks. This resulted in interruptions and instability.
Kjell therefore wanted to further develop its audio concept and gradually transition to IP, without having to invest in and install a completely new IP solution. The best solution was therefore to expand on its existing analogue audio solution. The benefits of IP that the company wanted to take advantage of included: improved sound quality, remote access and control capabilities, central maintenance, configuration and easy management.
It was also important to Kjell that the hardware was not locked to a specific music provider and that it could be integrated with existing IT systems. “We wanted a standardised solution from a reliable supplier who we feel secure with,” says Erik Ljungdahl, IT manager of Kjell & Company.
Improved customer experience
Kjell & Company wanted to use music to create a more uniform environment and feel in their stores. “It is important to offer customers the same experience in all of our stores. The scheduling of music and messages is essential, as is being able to start and turn off the audio centrally,” says Ljungdahl.
Studies show that having the right music in stores can enhance the customer experience and strengthen the brand, resulting in increased sales. Research also shows that consumer activity, mood and behaviour are positively affected by music. However, the choice of music is important to achieving the desired effect; playing background music that reflects the brand identity is critical to effectively achieving a significant sales boost. “It is important that we are relevant to the customer. For us, this means that we provide a really good personal service and have a wide range of technological accessories,” says Ljungdahl.
Reliable and operationally stable
Kjell & Company installed an AXIS C8033 Network Audio Bridge, which makes it possible to control the audio with an IP solution while still retaining its analogue amplifiers and speakers. “We have been longing for a product like this for years. It is a simple and cost-effective solution that is easy to integrate with our existing systems. We hit the jackpot when it came.
The AXIS C8033 Network Audio Bridge is connected to an analogue audio system and analogue speaker, with configuration and maintenance handled centrally. Central control means it is easier to change channels or playlists, for example, regardless of the number of stores and other organisational units involved.
All stores in Sweden and Norway use the same music playlist, while voice announcements and other audio communication (offers, campaigns, which products are in stock, and commercials and information to customers) are adapted and tailored to each store.
Prerecorded voice announcements can be scheduled, and information can be played live.
“Because we have so many stores, we wanted a future-proof, reliable solution of high quality and good security,” says Ljungdahl.
The rollout of the C8033 in all stores is underway. Kjell & Company currently has three different types of audio solutions in their stores – an analogue system, a system where the analogue system is supplemented with the C8033 Network Audio Bridge, and a system that includes Axis network-connected speakers. The audio solution can also be connected to the alarm system and network surveillance cameras.
Kjell has also installed AXIS Device Manager, which enables simple, cost-effective and secure management of all devices. This allows operators to improve cybersecurity, as well as the management of accounts and passwords. AXIS Device Manager can manage thousands of devices in multiple locations.
“AXIS Device Manager is invaluable if you have a lot of stores and offices as it lets you centrally update many different devices in a single system at the same time, regardless of where they are located. This means you are guaranteed to have the latest software in all devices, which contributes to better IT security,” says Ljungdahl.
“We are constantly impressed that Axis can make good products better. Each new version is better than the one before it. The common thread is simplicity. The products and solutions are easy to manage, and it is easy to apply updates even if thousands of products are involved,” says Ljungdahl.
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