Barix Finds International Success with IP In-Store Media Platform

ZURICH, Switzerland, May 14 // - Barix AG, a pioneer in IP- based audio, intercom and control/monitoring, announced several key retail customer wins for in-store media distribution as the company prepares for its first appearance at the Digital Retailing Expo (Navy Pier Exhibition Center, Chicago, May 16-17, Booth #929). Barix continues to gain global interest from retailers seeking point-to-multipoint high quality audio distribution with its cost-effective, IP-based approach to what has traditionally been a satellite or terrestrial delivery platform. The company's scalable strategy to in-store media is demonstrated by the varying sizes of the retail chains that have chosen Barix as their in-store media platform provider.

Domestically, Barix recently completed installations at GFS Marketplace (a business unit of Gordon Food Services), a midwest-based wholesale grocery chain with 120-plus stores; and Western Beef, a New York City metropolitan area specialty foods chain with 20 stores. Both chains use Barix audio encoding, streaming, and decoding devices for IP delivery of music and advertising from the central office to multiple store outlets.

The GFS Marketplace solution was a collaboration between Barix and Private Label Radio, a provider of brand-specific customized audio. Private Label Radio, a division of DMI Music & Media Solutions, provided the music and messaging services and handled the systems integration project. From its headquarters in Pasadena, California, Private Label Radio updates the music database on a nightly basis and the promotional messaging every month using its proprietary "Store and Forward" approach. GFS Marketplace's main office in Grand Rapids, Michigan, streams the music and messaging to a Barix Instreamer device, which digitally encodes the audio and streams it as an MP3 file to a Barix Barionet IP automation system. The Barionet relays the files over IP to the stores, where Barix Exstreamers decode the audio and send it to the stores' loudspeaker systems. The Barix components are highly reliable, low power devices that work together to provide a robust, PC-free solution for GFS Marketplace that is far more reliable and cost-effective than the store chain's previous in-store media platform.

"The Barix solution met our main objective of lowering costs associated with our in-store media system," said Bill Sevic, IT Production Manager, GFS Marketplace. "Our existing service provided music on hold and in the store and was received via satellite or over-the-air. The Private Label Radio solution allowed us to add promotional advertising to our music stream, and distribute it over the PC-free Barix solution using only 50-to-70KB of a 512K bandwidth connection per store. The result is a more diverse and technically reliable solution that met our cost reduction objectives."

Robert Walker, VP National Sales, Private Label Radio, stressed the overall efficiency of the GFS Marketplace in-store media platform. "Streaming is much more efficient to operate and provides a much lower price point than satellite," he said. "We were also able to lower their costs by integrating the overall solution into an existing frame relay network, instead of tearing

out an old infrastructure and starting from scratch. This reduced the complexity of the overall engineering and integration work."

Western Beef, based in the New York City borough of Queens, previously relied on paging systems with live voices in each of its 20 locations to make advertising announcements. The retail food chain recently integrated a point-to-multipoint Instreamer/Exstreamer in-store media platform to ensure that the promotional advertisements were announced on a regular basis.

Ernest Braun, MIS Director, integrated the system, which features an Instreamer at the central office and Exstreamers at each store location. The music is streamed to all stores using the existing T1 infrastructure, with advertisement breaks scheduled using the AcroVista BellCommander software platform at headquarters. Braun also takes the platform a step further by "localizing" advertisements using BellCommander, and on a daily basis distributes three or four different advertising packages created for specific stores.

Braun cited the low cost of the Barix platform, along with simple integration as reasons for choosing Barix. "The Barix solution is a maintenance-free, reliable audio streaming platform that allows for targeted messaging and ensures our advertisements are broadcast daily at the scheduled times," said Braun. "We now have control since all audio services are relayed from our central headquarters."

Internationally, Barix has delivered in-store media platforms including: Wholesale business chain REWE Group Austria, which has equipped its more than 1,900 stores across three retail chains with Barix devices (Bipa perfume stores and the Merkur and Billa supermarket chains); and Coop, a department store chain based in Switzerland with 920 locations.

Please visit the Barix website at for more information.

Barix AG, Seefeldstrasse 303, 8008 Zurich, Switzerland
Phone: +41 43 43322 11, Fax: +41 44 2742849
Barix Technology Inc, St. Paul, MN - (866) 815-0866

Source: Barix AG

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