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April 12, 2012
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News for the sign and visual communications industry

  The Storefront 
  • Retailers seek small spaces as big boxes decline
    As the fate of the big-box stores hangs in the balance, commercial real estate professionals may soon see more demand for smaller spaces. Online shopping has taken a bite out of big-box stores, forcing some, such as Circuit City, to close altogether. Even successful big boxes such as Wal-Mart and Target are downsizing in some areas. "The effect on the commercial market is that I think we'll see more interest in small spaces and less on big spaces. And we may see more interest in warehousing," said the University of Nevada Las Vegas' Stephen Brown. (Las Vegas) (4/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Toys R Us works on revamp as rivalries grow
    Increased competition from brick-and-mortar rivals, including Wal-Mart, and online giant Amazon ate into holiday sales at Toys R Us. The 1,500-store chain is working to reinvent itself. "This is a very crucial year for [Chairman and CEO] Jerry Storch ... there have been expectations for them going public, and it hasn't happened yet," said Jim Silver, editor of The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (4/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Technology and Trends 
  • Interactive digital signs are on the rise
    Grocery stores, malls, restaurants and other places that draw crowds are on track to replace about 22 million traditional signs with digital signs that interact with the public by 2015, industry analysts say. The technology has been available for a while and has now become affordable for businesses, says Gina Tammo of Arizona-based Avnet, which sells digital products, including a 70-inch holographic display with 3D images. The Arizona Republic (Phoenix) (4/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Lampert: Retailers must adapt with the times
    The retail scene has changed with the growth of online and mobile options that have been good for consumers but are forcing traditional retailers to adapt, says Sears Holdings Chairman Eddie Lampert. "A lot of businesses will have profitless prosperity and we've got to adapt, and I think that companies like Amazon, eBay, they've turned this into a big opportunity, and we have to be able to compete with them." CNBC/Consumer Nation blog (4/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Microsoft debuts gesture-controlled billboards
    Microsoft has launched digital billboards that use age, gender and facial-recognition technology and let passers-by interact with the displays using hand and arm movements. The company is using the signs to promote Internet Explorer 9 and has partnered to promote the movie "The Hunger Games." (4/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Government and Regulatory 
  • Mo. bill would allow additional electronic billboards
    A committee of the Missouri House has approved a bill that would allow companies to convert nonconforming billboards to electronic signs, a move with the potential to boost the number of digital billboards in the state. Electronic billboards are allowed now only if they conform to all current state and federal laws. The new rules would allow existing billboards to be converted if they comply with state laws that were in effect on Aug. 27, 1999. Bloomberg Businessweek/The Associated Press (4/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  ISA Update 
  • ISA presents new research on wind loads for signs
    ISA introduced new research on wind-load criteria for outdoor signs to the American Society of Civil Engineers at a meeting today at the ASCE headquarters in Reston, Va. This research aims to improve the current level of knowledge on sign engineering, and representatives of ISA, OAAA and Texas Tech University provided useful background for the ASCE 7 committee on the recently completed research project at Texas Tech. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • ISA educates sign users to help your business
    ISA staff presented a webinar Wednesday that targeted an entire sector of the retail economy: "Signs of Success: Visual Communications and the Automotive Aftermarket Industry." This presentation is part of ISA's overall goal of educating as many end users as possible on the value of on-premise signs to their businesses. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail."
--William Faulkner,
American writer

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