Harrods has launched a branded area for Science Museum toys featuring a mix of multimedia screens and live demonstrations.

Toy supplier Wow! Stuff has worked with the department store to create the area. It has fitted it with 42-inch LCD screens, which play demonstration videos that it can control remotely via an internet connection.

At the same time Wow Stuff! has employed demonstration artists to work in the store and bring the products to life.

Wow! Stuff managing director Richard North told Retail Week that sales of Science Museum products in Harrods increased from£500 to£4,000 in the first weekend of trading.

He said that the combined video content and live demonstrations is intended to help customers make purchasing decisions in-store, rather than going away and looking for products for less on the internet.
He added: “We are trying to create theatre in a retail environment with people and technology.”

By being able to control the content on the screens remotely, Wow! Stuff is able to set up promotions to run at certain times of the day. It can also use information from a weather feed to ensure that content is appropriate for the conditions that day at any site – such as highlighting toys for use outdoors when it
is sunny.

North added that his company has signed similar deals with Woolworths, House of Fraser, Fenwicks and Hamleys, which should be live before the end of October. However, the content on screens in some of these stores will have to be managed locally rather than via an internet connection. The company is also expanding the work it does with existing retail partner Debenhams.

Wow! Stuff has launched an academy to train 200 demonstration artists, who will then be employed to work in these stores in the run-up to Christmas.