A storytelling experience from a Swedish entertainment company aimed to keep kids amused while shopping is continuing its roll out across supermarkets.

Storytrail, which was created by Anna Lantz, CEO of children’s media production company in Sweden Maj Maj Måne, has been rolled out to ICA Kvantum supermarket chains since September 2010. The roll-out has so far involved over 30 stores with more expected to come.

“We have worked with and for children for many years, and always emphasised storytelling as an important part of learning,” Lantz said. “We wanted to find a way to make everyday life with children as smooth as possible, pinpointing the stress factors many families have in their lives – for example, going grocery shopping.

“We developed Storytrail as a concept that would keep children occupied, entertained and amused in a retail environment, in a way that would keep them with their parents but also relieve much of the parents’ stress.”

Families collect the equipment for Storytrail – a pair of headphones and a Dataton Pickup unit – when they enter the store. Throughout the stores there are nine ‘storypoints’ – signs that contain Dataton Microtags to act as the trigger for a new audio chapter in the Storytrail for kids to listen to.

“To make it easy for the children to find the Storypoints, we designed additional signs around the store and little footprints on the ground, underlining the idea that the kids are following a trail,” Lantz said.

For ICA Kvantum, Maj Maj Måne created a story using characters already used by the retail chain in its marketing. New stories involving these characters are recorded every other week, so that children always have a new Storytrail to look forward to when they go shopping.

Research from Sweden’s Linnaeus University suggests that more than half of children are quieter when using Storytrail in a shopping environment and parents’ stress levels are reduced by over 20 per cent. The research also show 85 per cent of parents would choose to shop at a location with Storytrail installed over one without.

“Storytrail is a fantastic example of how our Pickup audio-guide technology can bring tangible and immediate business benefits to our customers,” Lars Sandlund, Dataton chief operations officer, said.