Musikhaus Thomann in Treppendorf near Bamberg in Upper Franconia combines tradition and modernity: founded in 1954 by musician Hans Thomann Senior and still independent to this day, the family business was the first music retailer in Germany to go online with its own website in the mid-1990s.
Today, the traditional company with its 1,700 employees serves more than 17 million customers worldwide via Europe's largest online mail order business for musical instruments and equipment and its retail store. Thomann also has its own logistics center with over 40,000 square meters of storage and shipping space and its own service center.
Image 1: The use of LED technology enables Thomann to address customers in a comprehensive and individually controllable way - from classic manufacturer promotions to bestseller lists and video testimonials from well-known influencers in the music sector.
2019 also saw the start of the ambitious expansion and conversion of the store, which will be the largest music store in the world with an impressive 15,000 square meters of sales space when it is completed in 2027. The new drum and brass departments have been built on two floors in the first construction phase already. The second part of the building, which is currently under construction, is intended for acoustic guitars, keyboard and string instruments as well as studio technology. In the existing building, for which an extensive facelift is planned, music professionals will also find everything they need for lighting and system technology and DJ equipment.
explains Florian Rittweger, Director Sales at Thomann and a musician himself, who is closely involved in the remodeling and expansion of the store and is responsible for planning the digital projects within the long-established company.
Image 2: Creative use with a personal touch: An LED wall in the passageway to the new building in the drum department uses a motion sensor to automatically play videos specially produced by Thomann showing team members of the advisory staff playing drums.
Two particular highlights are a 4.20 m x 3.27 m LED wall in the guitar department and an identical LED wall in the passageway to the new building leading to the drum department, which automatically plays content using a motion sensor. A particularly creative approach with a personal touch is the use of videos specially produced by Thomann, which show various members of the advisory team playing drums.
In addition to LED walls, a total of twelve LED strips were installed above the product shelves in the drum and brass departments in the completed store extension, which can be individually programmed with content. At five custom-made product application stations, specialist staff and customers can also use touchscreens to browse the entire range of musical instruments and equipment and scan goods from the shelves to obtain further information.
explains Rittweger. "In addition to LED technology and our product application steles, we also use digital price tags that update prices automatically via the connection to our database. This automation saves a lot of time for our specialist staff, who can concentrate on advising customers instead."
explains Johannes Fischer, the responsible project manager at the Göttingen-based software developer and expert in POS digitization xplace, who accompanied the implementation of the project and supplied all digital solutions from a single source.
Image 3: Giada D611 i5 digital signage players are used for the simultaneous display of individually selectable content on the LED strips above the product shelves, as they have the correspondingly high computing power.
A Giada D611 digital signage player with an Intel i5 processor is used in each department for the simultaneous display of individually selectable content on the LED strips, as this has the correspondingly strong computing power in a compact booksize format. The large LED walls are operated by Giada D611 Celeron models, the product application steles by Giada i58 models.
"We have had very good experiences with Giada's mini PCs in terms of quality, value for money and fast availability, even for the smallest quantities," explains Matthias Koch, Head of Product Management at xplace, who was responsible for purchasing the technology. "The Munich-based value-added distributor Concept International distributes Giada PCs in German-speaking countries and has been a reliable and flexible partner for us for ten years, helping us to always find the right PC for our applications."
"We are extremely satisfied with the technology used, everything has worked perfectly so far," concludes Florian Rittwerger. "We are already looking forward to further planning with our partners regarding the latest technologies that we will use for the other construction phases. Giada players will also be used for this."
Image 4: At customized product application stations, specialist staff and customers can browse the entire range of musical instruments and equipment via touchscreen and scan goods from the shelves to obtain further information.
All image rights: Photography Marcus Schultz Burgebrach