• Tuesday , 19 October 2021

Krispy Kreme UK push digital in-store experiences with embed signage

Krispy Kreme UK Ltd has been operating in the UK since its launch in Harrods in 2003 as a retailer of premium, high quality doughnuts and coffee. Krispy Kreme UK currently operates over 115 locations and has a presence in over 1100 in-store cabinets with retail partners including Tesco, Morrisons, Welcome Break and Center Parcs outlets across the country.

Krispy Kreme UK had been experimenting with digital menu board options before discovering embed signage in 2018. At this time they commissioned a trial at three locations; Enfield,Dublin and Manchester Trafford. The trial consisted of menu boards in a 3×1 landscape configuration, portrait Drive Thru totems and landscape internal promo screens. The trial was deemed to be a great success. Since then Krispy Kreme UK have been pushing digital further and further across their estate expanding from digital menu boards to enhanced in-store customer experiences.

“The main reason for choosing embed is the user experience. Based on the others I have seen on the market this is by far the best. Not only visually but intuitively too. On top of that, the features are extensive and the support from the team is second to none”

Mike Tinnion, Senior Creative & Content Manager, Krispy Kreme UK

Although digital menu boards are a key focus for digital initiatives in-store, Krispy Kreme UK have gone much further to deliver customer experiences such as the off premise GEN8 Digital Cabinets using presence detection as well as HOT NOW experiences with tablets triggering content and lighting changes. All of this is made possible through embed.

“There are so many features in embed that we love, for example being able to upload content and add conditional rules for when it is valid to play, is really powerful for our campaigns. We’re able to do things like content synchronization, integrate external systems for things like lighting control and presence detection, use tablets to trigger content on other screens, add tags for playlist creation and location specific content playback plus we can have all kinds of different resolutions which is very important for our stores where we use unique screen sizes such as headers, SELs and LED walls. Best of all, we can do all of it ourselves – of course embed have been on hand to help us learn the software but once we’ve been shown, it’s something we have complete control over.”

Phil Goldsmith, Content Executive, Krispy Kreme UK

Digital Menus

Digital menu boards are used in the majority of Theatre and Fresh stores throughout the UK and are deployed in various configurations such as:

  • ●  Single screen landscape / portrait
  • ●  5×1 portrait
  • ●  3×1 landscape
  • ●  2×1 portrait
  • ●  LCD Video walls
  • ●  Large stretched header screens
  • ●  Shelf edge label displays
  • ●  IP65 outdoorThe primary menu board configuration is 3×1 where each menu screen is used to deliver different content with the middle screen displaying promos and the left and right screens showing different products for the menu. At regular intervals all the three screens show a takeover covering all of the screens.


In unique store configurations, such as Canary Wharf where the store is stretched along a walkway, a different approach is needed. With space limited, stretched header screens, shelf edge labels and Direct View LED walls are used to deliver product information, pricing and promotional messaging.


“The infinite range of resolutions supported through embed means maximum flexibility for us. When designing new stores or improving old there are no restrictions on what we can do with digital signage, which gives our stores a really fun and creative feel. Practically all devices are supported too which is perfect. It means that the variety is there to match each requirement.“

Phil Goldsmith, Content Executive, Krispy Kreme UK

GEN8 Cabinets

In January 2020, Krispy Kreme UK started a trial of their new digital cabinets being touted as a fundamental step-chang to how doughnuts are presented and sold in-store. The trial at 15 Tesco and 5 Welcome Break locations was measured not only by revenue but also included consumer research to analyse shopper behaviour, look at the drivers and barriers to purchase and gain wider feedback. The trial was deemed “incredibly positive” and as such 140 more digital cabinets were rolled out to Tesco stores by October 2020.

“The initial trial has gone very well and we are now pleased to continue the rollout into many more.

We are only at the start of this journey and there are huge opportunities moving forwards to further develop the on-screen content to surprise and delight our customers at the point of purchase”

Suk Nichols, Sales Director, Krispy Kreme UK

Dubbed the GEN8 cabinets, they are a first for the Krispy Kreme brand globally. The GEN8 cabinets use digital technology with purpose. All elements have been meticulously considered to present an exciting customer experience and generate sales.

The cabinets include stretched header screens and shelf edge labels (SELs) which are designed to grab the attention of customers. Brand reinforcement content such as ‘Made Fresh Daily’ is displayed on the headers paired with a waterfall of doughnuts covering all of the SELs, giving the entire cabinet an undeniable presence. Curious (and hungry) consumers approach the cabinet and once close enough, their presence is detected and the SEL content changes to present the product name, description, pricing and allergens.

The cabinets also integrate an LED light strip where colours can be changed instantly to match the campaigns on screen, which presents further opportunities to delight the customer.

The whole digital experience of the GEN8 cabinets is brought together by embed signage, with all screen content, presence sensors and LED strips controlled by the software.

“The introduction of the GEN8 cabinet has rewarded Krispy Kreme with unprecedented sales and revenue from the off premise side of the business, and we hope to see this continue with the introduction of more GEN8 cabinets in the near future.

None of this would have been possible without the expertise and incredible support of Embed”

Phil Goldsmith, Content Executive, Krispy Kreme UK

LED walls

Krispy Kreme UK first experimented with direct view LED at their Baker Street store where a long, large space was transformed into a digital display. This served as an attraction screen to draw customers from afar. Proving successful, Krispy Kreme UK are continuing to implement LED across more of their stores and in some very creative ways.

In Canary Wharf, there are two portrait banners either side of the store which draw the attention of people passing. At the Westfield Stratford store, there is a concave curved LED wall which wraps around the condiments area which provides opportunities for clever and creative content to flow around the space.

Further stores will see the introduction of LED as Krispy Kreme embraces this technology further.

Using embed signage, Krispy Kreme can easily integrate direct view LED walls of all shapes, sizes, resolutions and also have the ability to control the LED brightness via embed with TCP or RS232 communication. Embed has several features specifically designed for deployment of LED walls such as the ability to specify the exact pixel size and position for content playback as well as the ability to create layouts at the exact pixel resolution of the LED walls.

Hotlight Store Experiences

In Hotlight Theatre Stores, doughnuts are made on site which can be watched by customers. Hot Original Glazed Doughnuts come off straight off the line fresh and ready to eat, signalled by HOT NOW signs – this is known as the ​Hotlight​. Hotlight is available in Hotlight stores daily between 7pm – 8pm including Gateshead, Leeds Birstall, Manchester Trafford, Peterborough, and Shannon Corner.

During the hotlight hour, the menu content is changed to HOT NOW content which is primarily red and includes animations of steaming original glazed doughnuts used to entice customers.


At Krispy Kreme UK’s Westfield Stratford store, the experience is taken a step further where the store can control and countdown to HOT NOW as they wish.

With this location, there is a 10′′ tablet where staff can activate the HOT NOW countdown. This triggers a 30 minute countdown of content on the main 5×1 and secondary 2×1 portrait menus.

During the 30 minute countdown, a variety of content changes take place on the screens every 5 minutes. As the countdown nears completion there is a takeover for the final 10 second countdown on both the 5×1 and 2×1 menus.

With the countdown completed and the Hot Original Glazed doughnuts ready, the menu content changes to the HOT NOW menu and promotional material. At the same time, the store lighting dims and the HOT NOW signs at the serving counter and the main store entrance light up red. The content, countdown, device interactions and lighting control commands are all controlled via embed signage.


“Krispy Kreme UK uses embed signage across the entire digital signage estate. The incredible development of embed makes managing the estate really simple, and yet brings a vast amount of flexibility to all elements of our content.

Content is controlled entirely by us, from beginning to end, making changes and updates incredibly fast, meaning we can react to any changes in store or in the market as a whole immediately.

Embed have been phenomenal throughout the whole process, giving incredible insight and training to ensure that we can manage our digital estate to gain the best results we can.

The support has been second to none, establishing fixes and improvements all the time to make managing the estate as simple as possible, while still creating a magical experience for customers and full flexibility in regard to content.”

Phil Goldsmith, Content Executive, Krispy Kreme UK

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