Festive packaging is the perfect way to have some fun with your brand and create something which your customers will look forward to every year. When the first days of winter are heralded by Starbuck’s latest holiday themed coffee cups, which has now become a firm tradition with customers, what’s stopping you creating the same buzz and anticipation around your brand this Christmas? We take a look at some ideas that can be easily implemented, that engages customers and keeps them coming back year after year!

Enhance your customer’s unboxing experience this Christmas

Brown shipping box with Christmas branding

Consider festive branding on your packaging

Nothing says ‘value’ more to a customer than a bespoke festive design printed on your shipping packaging. What better time to delight and make a special occasion of receiving your parcel! Depending on your brand, this could be a stylish subtle addition to your packaging or something more bold and colourful. It’s time to get creative and the possibilities are endless to capture a bit of festive magic and sparkle! It could be something as simple as changing your logo to seasonal colours or going full out with printing in silver or gold foil for a touch of luxury.

If you don’t have time to produce a festive edition of your parcels, how about looking at developing seasonal tape or large stylish labels to carry your message and make it feel different from your usual shipments.

It doesn’t have to be costly, how about a simple festive ribbon to add a bit of wow to your packaging. Nothing shouts luxury and glamour more than ribbon. It’s just a small and inexpensive addition to your process that brings unexpected cheer and is most likely to be kept by your customers too. You can keep this simple with a festive design or include your logo for something more distinctive and personal.

The Personal Touch

Brown gift card with red writing

A cheery Christmas thank you!

It’s the perfect time of year to say thank you to your loyal customers and what better than a personal note to thank them for their custom over the year as well as being an opportunity to welcome new ones. This could be something handwritten or made to look as such so it still looks special. A simple gift tag with a festive theme as a thank you is just as good. Perhaps you could include a company Christmas card or a photograph of the team in festive attire – your customers will love this simple gesture.

If you are seeking greater engagement with your customers, why not talk to the experts at Acopia. We have over 40 years experience in retail and branding and we can help build your brand in 5 easy steps – click here to find out what we could do for your business!

Happy holidays!

Main image via Glossier


Our goal at Acopia has always been to look at procurement and process from our client’s side of the table and how we can establish meaningful partnerships that allow us to support their growth and return on investment. Looking to add value and constantly anticipate our customer’s needs really sets us apart. When focusing on the Charity Retail Sector, we felt that by introducing some free support would really help shops gain traction in their communities. Providing a working knowledge of Visual Merchandising could really help to transform retail spaces to encourage more footfall and purchases.

Getting it right

We are very lucky to be invited to the Hospice UK Retail Steering Group to launch the idea and gain feedback from the group to help tailor the training. It was important to us that the training was to be relevant, provide solutions – as well as being enjoyable! The idea was greeted very enthusiastically by the group and we were delighted to be able to provide a much needed service and collaborative support.

The training was held at our Head Office in sunny Bognor Regis! We had representatives from 8 Charities attend the training which examined the principles of Visual Merchandising such as how to create an impactful window, thinking about the customer journey around the store, positioning products for impulse purchases, space planning, colour blocking – and loads more! It was also a great networking opportunity as attendees were able to discuss and swap new ideas with fellow charities.

Our group were keen to explore how the basic principles could be applied to their own retail spaces and were able to take time with our trainer to discuss specific in-store challenges and look at planning their space better.

Learning into practice

Well dressed mannequins!

The winning table top display! Tables from our Street 76 display Range

Our Street 76 Display Ladder









The afternoon was dedicated to putting it all into practice! The group had lots fun diving into our products from our Street 76 display range and the props (all from local charities!) to create table top displays and dress mannequins. We were keen to replicate the typical products that Charities receive everyday and learn to understand how to make the most of donated product. We rounded off the day with a competition for the best dressed mannequin and display!

We had some great feedback from the day:

“Relevant content and inspirational ideas”  “Great energy from the presenter”  “I have learnt a lot and have some great ideas to take back to our stores”

If you like the sound of some learning more about Visual Merchandising and what benefits this could bring to your Charity retail estate – please just get in touch. We’d love to hear from you and help you to achieve more from your stores!

Call Jake Elkins on 0845 075 6111 for more information and details on our next FREE course.

GNFR can typically represent over 25% of a retailer’s operating cost. That’s a significant investment with no direct income generated from this outlay. Whilst Goods For Resale (GFR) undergoes intense scrutiny to ensure the best possible returns, cost optimisation for GNFR, in the most part, is rarely approached in the same manner. What does this mean? A huge opportunity for retailers!

Making the most of your GNFR strategy is not just a case of simply clamping down on costs and slashing budgets – it actually requires an entirely different approach. Embracing a holistic attitude is key to its success as this needs to be championed across the business. Harnessing the power of optimising GNFR and adopting best practice can deliver real savings.

What is GNFR

There is a misconception that GNFR purely consists of simple products such as carrier bags or cleaning items – it is actually more far reaching than that. A typical retailers GNFR shopping list could look something like this: packaging, first aid equipment, safety clothing, kitchen and bathroom essentials, anti-theft devices, stationery, POS/check out systems, branded consumables, signage, labeling, shop fittings and merchandise display solutions. The scope to save on valuable resources such as time and money are considerable. The reality is that a retailer could be working with a huge number of suppliers to achieve this ‘shopping list’, having to negotiate costs and terms, organising product research, purchase orders, deliveries, invoicing, returns a multiple of times – when time is money, is this really the best approach?

Creating Order out of Chaos

Consolidating the whole procurement process can dramatically free up internal resource as well as driving down hard and soft costs. All product expenditure can be ratified and sourced through one preferred supplier. The associated hidden ‘soft costs’ (administration and procurement process time) can be virtually eliminated. The price paid for products ‘hard costs’ can also be reduced as well as delivery expenditure. Receiving products with one delivery with one invoice from one supplier can save thousands of pounds a year.

Finding a supplier with a vast portfolio that can cater for a complete range of products and essentials is rare. Acopia have been serving retail for over 40 years and we know what it takes to get the show on the road.  We have expertise in seeing procurement from your side of the table which enables us to provide a wide and relevant portfolio, value for money, with exceptional customer service.

Why not put the team to the test and ask us about our Single Source Solution for your GNFR and find out how much you could save with us!

It will be our 4th time at the CRA Conference this year and we are delighted to be a part of this network dedicated to the support and growth of the charity retail sector.

As a proud member of the CRA, Acopia is thrilled to be sponsoring the Charity Retail Awards, recognising all the hard work by staff and volunteers throughout the UK and Northern Ireland.

Developments in the charity retail sector show real innovation with initiatives such as personal shopping, Style-me-in-Seconds and special events such as the recent Science and Shopping talks earlier this year, showing customers how the money raised goes directly into vital medical research. This really brings into sharp focus just how crucial the success of this sector is.

At Acopia, we understand the challenges faced from working with and supporting retail in the charity sector for over 20 years. From the supply of all retail consumables, shop fittings and providing complete turn-key solutions for Fit-Out itself, we pride ourselves on being the single source supplier of choice for all things retail. We are committed to developing strong business relationships and meaningful partnerships through our collaborative approach. Providing bespoke support is our strength, with experience to both understand and support important deliverables – we can be a key enabler for your business.

Charity Retail Awards

Charity Retail Awards

With benefits such as free warehousing and free delivery, our holistic approach – solutions-led philosophy is a winning combination with our customers. We work with some impressive names within the sector and we are delighted to be their Single Source supplier for all GNFR items, delivering time, resource and cost savings.

To find out more about we can do for your business as well as our unique ordering system – MyAcopia™ and our 3D Retail Design Experience – talk to our award winning team on Stand 2 at the Charity Retail Conference. We’d love to know more about your retail operation too so that we can understand your needs and align our service to these specifically.



Pop Up Shops are fast becoming a new addition to the high street – or any street! With innovative ‘shop’ designs and products, they have captured the market and the imagination of shoppers on street corners across the UK. From shipping containers, to shoes boxes to shelters – these show stopping showrooms are seeing their concepts embraced with over 10,500 shops in the UK in August 2015.

This new niche sector is generating growth – with £2.3 bn from July 2014 to August 2015 and pop-up retail sales increasing by 12.2% while total retail sales in comparison only saw growth of 1.1%. This new market is anything but temporary – even though the structures themselves are!

Reaching new audiences

Most retailers would agree that the Pop Up shop was once the domain of the new start-up promising unique products in a unique environment. Today however, it has been embraced by main stream retailers who want to engage a new hip audience and make people think differently about their brand. Even luxury brands are re-writing their brand positioning ‘rule books’ and are using these opportunities to reach and resonate with different audiences.

adidas pop up shop

Adidas shows incredible innovation with this show stopping Pop Up Shop

Try a new product range

Pop Up Shops are the perfect place to try out new product lines and gain valuable customer feedback in a more informal setting. Creating a buzz around a brand and a new product launch – what could be better than creating an intimate environment which provides an exclusive backdrop to proceedings! The marketing value from something like this alone is priceless.

Making the Inside as Dramatic as The Outside

Once you have settled on an innovative exterior – it’s time to think about the interior. Once inside, merchandise still needs to look at its best and reflect the vibe and the ambiance of your in store exterior. Working with a supplier that can be flexible enough to cater for unusual premises and advise on making the most of your space is a must.

Acopia have been supplying retail consumables for over 20 years and work with our clients to bring their retail vision to life, not only with expert store planning and design, but also with unique display solutions. We provided the in store fittings for client Priscilla Bacon Hospice which opened to huge interest and success in a bright pink shipping container! It’s important that the product displays are in keeping with the exterior and chosen merchandise to create a seamless effect and we provided solutions that reflected the amazing concept.

If you would like to know more about what we can do to support your next venture – get in touch with our friendly team!

It’s certainly not all doom and gloom for retail in 2017, far from it. The year so far has seen encouraging growth in online sales which grew by 12% in January, with an average spend of £85 per purchase – the highest since 2010.

This represents a steady start to the year for online sales, having built on a solid foundation of performance in January 2016, when growth was above 15%.

Multiple sectors including clothing, gifts and accessories all saw growth, with clothing coming in at a respectable 11%. This must be welcome news for many retailers who have a multi-channel presence.

The Multi-Channel Challenge for Retailers

The Multi-Channel concept is being driven by consumers, this is how they want to engage, research and compare products and ultimately make purchases. This is not a retail invention – multi-channel is a reflection of customer behaviour. The single channel purchase is almost extinct and retail in some cases is playing catch-up. Those being able to deliver the same customer experience across channels will be the retailers who will go from strength to strength.

Brand Custodian

As customers continue to access brands in a variety of ways and circumstances, some of the tangible contact of the instore experience may be lost so being able to connect with customers in a personal way is key. Packaging is an extension of the brand and speaks volumes with your customers. Being able to personalise your packaging ‘canvas’ can complete that final stage of the multi-channel journey. Add a personalised message to parcels to thank your customers and encourage feedback and product reviews for example. With the growth of online reviews being so key in determining interaction with a brand or product, anything that can bring your brand closer to your customers is priceless.

At Acopia, we understand the challenges retailers face as customer buying patterns continue to change and evolve. We work collaboratively with our customers to ensure they can achieve stand-out whether it’s on the high street or the internet from space planning, shop fittings and fit-out to retail consumables and packaging.

Call the team 0845 075 6111 for an informal chat on how we can support your brand.


Retail Statistics provided by the IMRG

With Valentine’s Day behind us now as we move from February to March, the next thing Retail will be gearing up for is Mother’s Day. This year, it will falls on Sunday 11th March. Last year, the UK spent a whopping £1.4 billion on Mother’s Day gifts so it’s big business.  On average we will spend over £58 each on gifts, cards and flowers. It does not stop there with purchases of over £465 million expected on on health and beauty products and £65 million on chocolates. Overall 60% of Brits will spend money celebrating Mother’s Day.

It’s a huge opportunity for Retailers to secure revenue after a challenging start to the year. With an estimated £260 million being spent in the UK this year in just the 4 days prior to Mothering Sunday, are you ready for the demand?

Mother's Day

How retailers can make the most of Mother’s Day

According to research from retail and shopper marketing agency Savvy, Mother’s Day offers retailers a great opportunity to inspire shoppers and increase sales, and many purchases will be last minute to retailers should expect a late surge in shoppers:

– 28% of shoppers said they tend to trade up to buy more expensive food and drinks on the day
– 37% of shoppers want ideas for presents – and to be inspired
– 27% of shoopers thought dedicated aisles just for Mother’s Day purchases would be helpful


Morrisons supermarket introduce Mums-only check outs.

Morrisons discovered that 37% of Mums visit a supermarket on Mother’s Day to do their weekly shop – so these Mother’s Day friendly lanes across their 491 stores will make the whole experience so much nicer. Each Mum will also receive a pink Gerbera flower as a thank you for shopping with them – what a brilliant way for a retailer to engage with their loyal customers and create new ones too!

Get ready for the rush!

For e-commerce, it’s a necessity to manage your packaging levels to ensure smooth despatch. Here are 4 tips to keep you and your customer smiling this Mother’s Day

  1. Work with a packaging expert who can advise you on the best packaging solutions for your products. They will understand what it takes to get your product through the rigors of shipping, arriving unscathed using the most cost effective materials. There are time and cost savings to be had here when you work with a trusted industry expert.
  2. Huge shopping events such as Mother’s Day can see unprecedented spikes in orders.  Staying efficient during peak times like this is critical for both your loyal customers as well as new ones.
  3. Worst case scenario planning can keep you head and shoulders above competitors. Share with your customers your plans where you can and invite feedback. Build this into your planning and feel confident in your resulting solutions.
  4. Automate where you can – a great deal of your protective packaging and strapping processes can be automated. Again, your trusted packaging partner can advise on the very best solutions for your needs.

For support and advice on all your packaging and warehousing needs, speak to the team at Acopia.




With over 40 years of experience in the industry, we know what it takes to get the show on the road in retail. From supplying till rolls to shopfittings, we can support all your retail needs – taking the hassle out of procurement, saving you time and money too!

Window Dressing

Getting customers into your store is key and your shop window is your chance to impress and entice! We provide lots of display stands to make your product look its very best. We have a vast range of mannequins in many different styles to give your clothing and brand a unique look. From stylish retro display tables to modern modular cube shelving in that popular industrial feel – we can give your shop window the wow factor! Plastic stepped displays, risers and pedestals all provide ‘layers’ of product display without looking cluttered. Again, we have a truly extensive range to suit your budget and product. We also provide pavement signs for additional product promotion or advertise a special in-store offer!


The Shop Floor

Your retail space is your chance to shine. Choose from our new Moda range in utilitarian scaffolding finish, our Goodwood range in stylish black cast iron, our InStore range of gondolas and shelving as well as trendy wire mesh fittings with accesories – all completely adjustable to suit your space and product. Choose from our range of store security tags, shopping trolleys and baskets, mirrors, multimedia displays, stylish hat stands, jewellery displays, coat hangers, clothing size markers, sale signage, clothing tags and labelling – to highlight just a small selection of what we offer.




Point Of Sale

After your customers have enjoyed looking round your store, it’s time for that opportunity to engage when they make that all important purchase. We have a full range of consumables to support you when you are conducting your customer transactions. Along with a beautiful range of gift bags, basic carrier bags, gift boxes, ribbons and tissue papers – we also supply everything you need to support your sales. From the sales counters themselves, we can also provide the cash registers and accesories, pricing guns, labelling, office supplies and leaflet dispensers to make your sales area attractive and efficent. We even provide queue management systems to keep your customer flow working optimally.


Behind The Scenes
A great store with a fabulous staff attitude is acheived by looking after your team. We supply catering supplies for your staff such as tea, coffee and sugar. We can also supply microwaves, kettles and coffee makers, toasters, cooking equipment and utensils. Keeping the store clean and tidy is easy with vacuum cleaners, steam cleaners and a full range of polishing and cleaning equipment.

On top of all this – we also offer a fit-out service so we can design and transform your retail space entirely.

All your favorite products and services – all in one place. Call the team on 0845 075 6111 and see what we can do to support your business.

With so many packaging solutions on the market, it’s easy to find one that suits your particular product, no matter how niche. However, there are times that when it is not always so simple and that’s when you need expert advice to help you ensure your precious mechanise not only arrives at its destination in prestine condition, its internal packaging also creates a wondeful un-boxing experience for your customer.

Innovation in packaging is something we excel at and with our collaborative approach, we work with you to understand your needs and challenges. Understanding your product is also important to us so our recommendations can fully resonate with your audience as well as satisfying your delivery needs.

With over 40 years in the industry, creating bespoke packaging is one of the many specialisms we have developed, gained with working with many of our clients who need something a bit special or different!

Often converations will start with simple sketches like the ones below before they are developed further.

We take alot of time right at the start as we work towards prototypes to make sure we have considered everything that is relevant to the particular product from logistical criteria such as weight and fragility to the brand and intended audience.

Once the design concept has been agreed – we then produce a number of prototypes for testing to ensure the packaging delivers all that it needs to and all internal compenents, if required, do their job as well as look great! We then work to the finished product, keeping the client aware at each development stage,  and the result can be just stunning.


Peper Harrow came to us with their prestigious merchandise – high end quality socks for men. They wanted the packaging to reflect their premium product and we designed a unique packaging solution which really showcased their product and the exclusive nature of it. They were delighted with the end result.

Talk to our product development team today and see what we can do to not only bring your product to life – but also get it to its desination safe and sound.



In a typical retail environment, overheads account for at least a quarter of all operating costs, which in turn could equate to between 6-8% of revenues.

Tackling this is often deemed to be a formidable task, too involved to justify the time spent. However, by using a specialist supplies company for all consumables sourcing, surprising savings can be achieved.
We understand your challenges, especially how spend is perceived by donors. They want to know that as much of what they invest with you gets passed on directly to those in need. Donors want to believe in accountability and responsible spending – making their donated pounds work hard. The overhead debate is one that charities need to manage effectively. Typically donors think about 10% of their donations at worst are apportioned to administration.

The overhead debate is one that charities need to manage effectively and this is the one area that charities can make real cost savings by taking simple steps to manage where consumables and Goods Not For Resale are bought.

As a proud member of the Charity Retail Association, Acopia are the single source supplier of choice for the charity sector. Working in partnership with charity and hospice retailers across the UK, we can deliver tangible savings not only to your profit and loss, but also to your resource and administration too.

We have developed a bespoke portal to provide complete visibility of product ordering across multiple outlets so you are always in control of spend. Keeping spend with a single source will reduce administration costs as well as saving vaulable time for your staff.

Talk to one of our team on 0845 075 6111 and find out how we can make those all important savings for you.

Like the look of the display system in the photograph? Contact us to find out more.

For further information on the Overhead Debate