Plastic tape has long been a staple in packaging and shipping for retail and ecommerce as it provides a reliable, secure and safe way to seal parcels and boxes. However, the sheer volume of plastic tape now being produced to meet the increasing demands of online shopping for example, and its impact on the environment has raised concerns among businesses and individuals alike. New iTack offers a new groundbreaking eco-friendly solution to plastic tape that is effective but more importantly also environmentally friendly.

A different approach to plastic tape

The statistics of plastic tape production are not easy to ignore. The leading manufacturer produces over 12 million miles of tape each year, which breaks down to 22 miles every minute. That’s a lot of plastic! This amount of production creates  continued demand for new raw materials and unfortunately contributes the plastic waste crisis. Very little of it gets recycled and most plastic tape ends its lifecycle in landfills exacerbating the plastic pollution problem. This is not a positive situation for today’s retailers who are keen to show their eco-friendly achievements.

At Acopia, we felt the need for an eco-friendly solution to plastic tape to support Retailers in their sustainable ambitions. We set out to develop a product that could drastically reduce environmental impact without compromising on performance.

Plastic Tape Reimagined

iTack is a first-of-its-kind tape that is made entirely from 100% recycled plastic. Using recycled materials, iTack reduces the demand for new raw resources, changing the cycle of plastic production and end of life use. Choosing iTack means contributing to plastic waste reduction efforts and taking a step towards a more sustainable future.

iTack is paving the way for conserving natural resources, embracing a new way we can re-use waste and reducing energy consumption. It will significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions associated with manufacturing new plastic products. It’s a win-win solution that combines functionality with environmental responsibility.

What could iTack Mean for Your Retail Network?

For retailers looking to reduce their environmental impact, iTack offers a real solution. Not only does it provide an eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic tape, but iTack also performs equally well, ensuring packages arrive safely to their destination.

Choosing iTack means you’re making a statement about your commitment to sustainability and responsible packaging practices – and by making such a positive change with this innovation, it’s a good news story that you’ll want to make your customers aware of.

Using recycled tape along with other sustainable packaging choices will no doubt be welcomed by most consumers. To receive an online order parcelled up in entirely 100% recycled materials is a definite game-changer that supports a greener and more sustainable future for everyone.

 Make an informed decision with iTack

In summary, Retailers have several compelling reasons to use iTack from environmental responsibility and playing their part in reducing waste as well as contributing to a more sustainable way of doing business. We can provide iTack with your own branding with the opportunity to include an environmental message too.

It’s these small changes that collectively add up to greater change, keeping sustainability at the top of the agenda. Retailers who continue to add to the pollution problem will suffer at the consumer’s hands who want to see real change from the brands that they buy from.

If you would like to see how iTack performs in your own busy despatch department, you can get in touch for a free sample by calling us on 0845 075 6111.

And if you’d like to get in touch to find out more, just pop an email over to [email protected] for more.

FBA stands for “fulfilled by Amazon.” It’s been estimated that around 7.7 billion packages are delivered globally every year. Therefore, if you are thinking about shipping items through Amazon, it is important that you use the proper packaging. That way, you can adhere to Amazon packaging requirements and make sure your package is safe on its journey to its customers.


If you are intending to send your packages out through FBA, you need to follow packaging regulations. Here is what you need to know to get started.


Why do I need to adhere to FBA packaging regulations?


Packaging for FBA is more than just finding a box to put your products in. Badly packaged products can have a number of consequences, including:


  • Being lost in transit
  • Being damaged in transit
  • Being mixed up due to badly labelled packaging
  • Being wasteful by not using eco-friendly packaging
  • Using too much packaging and hurting the environment
  • Damaging your brand and your business’s reputation


If you do not package your items properly, you may find that Amazon will issue a penalty. This could include blocking your future shipments, getting rid of your inventory, or even a non-compliance fee. That’s why it’s important to stick to the rules to ensure both Amazon and your customers are happy with your shipping packaging.


What sort of packaging should I use for Amazon FBA?


The type of Amazon FBA packaging you use will depend on the size of your items, what type of items you want to be delivered, and how they need to be shipped. There are some general requirements for packaging. These include:


  • Creating an FNSKU that is unique to the unit or type of product
  • Using Amazon barcodes, including ASIN or FNSKU, or manufacturer barcodes, including GCID, UPC, ISBN or EAN that are scannable and are easily readable
  • Making the package secure by using tape and placing it in a bag


Your packaging material can be provided by Amazon. This includes boxes, stretch wrap, poly bags and bubble packs. If you intend to use a box, keep in mind that you will need to use a B flute, regular slotted carton, Ect-32 and 200BH.


Can I use packaging materials for Amazon FBA?


Amazon FBA will allow you to use a variety of packaging materials to help you keep your items safe when you send them out in a parcel. You can use foam sheets, air pillows, paper sheets and bubble wrap.


Can I use labels on my packages?


It is necessary to use a label on your package to ensure it reaches the right customers. Amazon FBA have strict guidelines when it comes to the appearance of your labels.


All product labels must have the same product title that is under 50 characters. Don’t forget to capitalise the first letter of each word, but avoid using all caps, special characters, symbols and promotional titles.


If you intend to sell your items as a set, you have to have this marked on the package as well as the label. Be aware that all sets must be sold together. You will not be able to separate them.


Specialised packaging


There are going to be times when you ship products that will need to be packaged in a specific way. They will require specialised wrapping and preparation to ensure they successfully reach their buyers without breaking or becoming damaged. These products include:


  • Liquid products
  • Powder products
  • Pellets
  • Glass and ceramic items
  • Items with batteries
  • Jewellery
  • Baby items
  • Plexiglass


These items require specialised packaging to ensure they do not break or become contaminated on their journeys. You can find more information about their requirements on Amazon Seller Central.


What should I do before I ship an item?


Now that you understand packaging requirements for your products, it’s important that you keep a list you can check off throughout the shipment process. That way, you can ensure you fulfil all of the requirements and still give yourself enough time to make the shipment.


Are you ready to use Amazon FBA for your products?


Amazon FBA is a great way to grow your customer base. Whether your customers are scrolling and stumble across your product, or you advertise your product’s Amazon page, you’ll find that using Amazon FBA will make it far easier to get your products shipped as quickly as possible.


So, make sure that you follow the packaging regulations if you are going to use Amazon FBA. That way, you can ensure your customers are happy and that you are able to send out as many items as possible!

Letterbox friendly boxes are opening up new doors for online retailers

Consumer habits and lifestyles are always changing, and retailers need to recognise and react to these changes, none more so than online retailers. As we return to work post-Covid, we no longer have the luxury of being at home to receive our deliveries. We’ve got used to seeing our delivery drivers on a weekly basis over the last 18 months or so and now we are faced with making choices again about our ‘safe-places’ and with it, the prospect of missing and lost parcels. So what’s the answer? How can we all be ‘in’ when in fact we’re actually out?

Hassle-free deliveries with letterbox friendly mailers

We have all grown accustomed to the convenience of online shopping, even more so recently when we didn’t need to worry about being out and missing deliveries. This was also good news for retailers who didn’t have to deal with so many failed shipments and lost parcels. The combination of the cardboard shortage we saw as a result of Brexit and Covid, as well as cardboard price hikes, lead many retailers to look at different ways of shipping to ensure they had ample supply as well as keeping costs to a minimum. It provided an opportunity for some to re-think their despatch methods.

Low-cost shipping is obviously extremely attractive to retailers and being able to optimise boxes and cartons for Royal Mail postal sizes is a huge gain, making the most of every possible margin. And who wouldn’t want to send a parcel for the same cost as sending a large letter!

One such example is our eco-friendly letterbox friendly boxes. We have seen these grow in popularity and they are equally at home with a high-end retail piece or something simple such as books, prints and frames. This is a great budget packaging solution that looks anything but budget. And as the festive season will be upon us too, this is a perfect way to ship for less.

Purchase and shipping costs for letterbox friendly boxes

There’s more good news with our NEST letterbox friendly mailers.  They can be purchased in small pack quantities of just 50 units with pricing starts at just 13p each. And with Royal Mail shipping prices starting at just £2.36, this really is a very cost-effective shipping solution that’s guaranteed to reach its destination every time – your entire shipping and packaging costs for just £2.49!

Not only that, box assembly times are literally a matter of seconds so there are time-saving opportunities here too.

How letterbox friendly mailers can deliver growth

Letterbox friendly box

Letterbox friendly mailers

Subscription-based online retailers have been quick to understand the value of this low-cost way to way to ship. From mini hampers to wine and gin, to ‘flat-packed’ flowers and plants – letterbox compatible mailers are taking over. The online subscription-based model is now believed to be worth £1 billion with more of a quarter of UK shoppers signed up to one.

It’s a perfect way for new start-ups as well as established brands to lock in customer loyalty with super low running costs.

Bloom & Wild are probably one of the most recognised brands that come to mind when thinking of this type of home delivery. In fact, they state they are the inventors of letterbox flowers. Since 2013, they have delivered to over 2 million customers, straight through the letterbox! Their business model was built entirely around one item of packaging – letterbox friendly mailers.

And when it comes to the customer experience, you can really go to town with the benefit of being able to keep costs low. Sending products made to measure for a letterbox mailer means void filling becomes easy and cost-effective as not no much is required. Team up your eco-friendly outer packaging with innovative and sustainable protective packaging such as Tesselwrap and Zigglefil which deliver a really special unboxing experience. Don’t forget tissue paper which always looks sumptuous and sophisticated. You can see more from our NEST range here.

Whether you’re a start-up, established brand or looking for a more cost-effective way of shipping, letterbox friendly mailers really can open those doors for eCommerce growth. If you’d like to find out how you can take advantage of this exciting and growing area of e-commerce, please get in touch below, we’d love to know all about it!

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It all sounds a bit too good to be true doesn’t it? A new take on what most would see as packaging’s most maligned material – plastic machine pallet wrap. Huge amounts of it are used across the globe every day and we estimate that the UK alone uses over 150,000 tons of pallet wrap every year. It’s hard to imagine what that kind of volume looks like.  And how a product like this could possibly deliver sustainability on any level!

Pallet wrap has been with us one way or another for over 100 years.  As with anything, machine pallet wrap has been subject to development and has continued to evolve to where we are today. But where is that actually? Well, we’re at a stage where some of the pallet wrap being used today is a whole lot smarter, delivering real environmental as well as cost benefits. How’s that? Let’s find out!

Firstly, how can machine pallet wrap be eco-friendly?

Its eco-credentials go hand in hand with its cost-saving properties and it certainly isn’t for commonplace for pallet wrap to achieve these kinds of benefits. iWrap is a high-performance intelligent machine pallet wrap and truly a best in class product. The single-use plastic savings are unparalleled compared to any other pallet wrap on the market today. It’s these plastic savings that have really spoken volumes to brands such as IKEA, Waitrose and ASDA that are committed to reducing the amount of plastic they are using iWrap.

One client we are working with has seen game-changing benefits with 42.13% less plastic going to landfill as well as a reduction of  2,467.2 kgs of cardboard used each year. The graphic below shows everything iWrap was able to deliver for them.

Savings achieved with eco-friendly machine pallet wrap

Savings achieved with eco-friendly machine pallet wrap


All this from a simple product change!

Who would have thought this huge reduction in environmental impact could be delivered by a machine pallet wrap! With the Plastic Packaging Tax very much just around the corner now starting in April 2022, it’s important businesses realise and understand the scale of the issue and how this can and will affect them. With a levy of £200 per tonne on all plastic packaging, large users and going to be subject to a hefty tax bill.

The answer has to be to use less plastic. It makes sense financially as well as environmentally. There is also the possibility of exemption if a user can get their plastic packaging consumption to under 10 tonnes. We estimate that if you’re wrapping over 400 pallets a day using a 23-micron machine pallet wrap, you’ll be consuming 23 tonnes of waste plastic a year wrapping your pallets. 

So how could you bring that plastic usage down by over half to under just 10 tonnes? Using iWrap will deliver this staggering plastic reduction whilst still maintaining the same pallet stability, consistent pallet wrapping and damage-free deliveries to your customers – just as you have now, and in most cases better, with the much thicker 23-micron film.  And imagine how delighted your customers will be when receiving pallets from you with that kind of reduction of plastic on your deliveries! You get to deliver a cost-saving to them too!

On average, we see a reduction of 40% or more on the plastic used with iWrap

The video below shows the kind of plastic savings that can be achieved.

So what cost savings can machine pallet wrap deliver?

We saw in the graphic above an example of the types of savings gained from one of our customers using iWrap. Let’s look a little closer at these figures. Of course, the impressive one is the huge saving on the cost of the film alone at £36,120. That’s a staggering amount that any company would be overjoyed to save on their machine pallet wrap spend. The other cost savings are equally important and who wouldn’t appreciate gaining over a week back in time every year?! Imagine the impact of that in a busy warehouse – a 53 week year for the price of 52! Time savings and being able to free up resource is valuable for every business.

On average, we see a reduction of 25% on spend and in reality usually a lot more than this

The savings we have looked at here, combined with the ability to bring your machine pallet wrap usage to under 10 tonnes, avoiding the packaging tax are significant. Also, very large users can reduce their tax liability and end up paying a vastly reduced amount instead.

We did say it sounded too good to be true, didn’t we!

The easy way to understand the plastic and cost reductions for your own business is to get in touch with us for a plastic audit. It’s completely free and is a no-obligation meeting where we come to see your set-up and demo iWrap on your own pallet wrap machine.  You can see for yourself what this high-performance stretch wrap could deliver for your business. We’re always excited to have the opportunity to run these demos,  discovering savings for businesses nationwide. Our clients are pretty excited to see the results too!

So if this all sounds valuable to you, and if your company is committed to reducing environmental impact whilst looking at ways to cut costs – why not get in touch using the form below.

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Everyone in retail is facing the question of how to maintain and also grow retail revenue in these uncertain times. In particular, our Charity Retail customers are constantly looking for new ways to generate and conserve income streams to support the great work they do.

There are some really innovative ideas coming to light turning the challenges of the new retail environment into a positive and winning experience as well as a great shopping experience for customers.  We thought we’d share some ideas for you to build upon and find ways to grow in the new normal.

Growing footfall in the new normal

The first thought with the new Social Distancing guidelines is the lack of footfall into the stores.  But there are real positives to this!  Less customers means you can really concentrate on those customers. Don’t ‘oversell’ but just take an interest, and make them feel wanted and valued.  Remember pieces of information they share with you and  make sure you ask about it next time they visit. Done sensitively, customers will really value this interest.

Shift style shopping

Another way to give your customers a real “boutique” shopping time is to extend opening hours by an hour or two with a shift arrangement.  You could offer customers to ‘book’ a shopping time early or late.  This would enable those that are currently working to visit the high street in the evening. Remember, if you’re one of the only shops who offers a unique and flexible experience, they will remember you and are much more likely to return!

Shifting Talent

It may be an obvious statement, but could you manage with less staff on the shop floor? It’s not just a case of making redundancies, but rather shifting talent across multiple stores, or even into a different area of the business whose capacity is stretched.  Why not ask your staff if there is another area in the business that they’ve always fancied joining, you may never know what will come out of the woodwork

Rewarding Retail

Your regular customers are the ones who will shout about your brand on social media and share positive vibes about the work you’re doing.  Reward them well and what better way to do this by offering VIP incentives?  These could be something like offering 3 for 2 or 10% off over £XX spend.  You could offer them the incentive with the condition that they visit at a ‘quiet time’ :)

Inspiring window displays

Make your customers want to step through your doors by improving your visual merchandising in your window displays!  It would be great to make your windows relevant to today’s world, so think Rainbows, NHS support, and share inspirational messages of hope!

Vertical Merchandising

Encourage link sales by utilising vertical merchandising!  Why not place colour coordinating shoes on top of your gondolas, or have floor to ceiling displays of items like cushions, throws & linen, or cutlery, tea cups & serve ware?  If they are looking for that item that will finish their collection, it’s likely they may be tempted to buy more than one!

Christmas comes early

RSPCA Christmas Window Display

RSPCA Christmas Window Display, one of our winners from our 2019 Charity Window Competition

Why not encourage customers to do a bit of early Christmas shopping now, while the shops are quiet?  You could play on the fact that there will be greater choice, and they won’t suffer from inflated pricing, especially during this economic hardship.  It will also help them to spread the costs across months instead of major outlay during the last few months of the year.

The pavement is your playground

Could you (space permitting) play with some creative ideas on the area outside your shop?  Think A frames, chalkboards, pavement signs, or maybe some stickers to draw the eye to your store front?  The pavement is your playground.  Make it an extension of your visual merchandising display! And a safe place for social distancing too!

Remember to make the most of free resources too to get hints and tips on how to create exciting displays  that are topical or on trend. Check out these visual merchandising guides you can find here.

Hopefully this has planted some seeds of imagination which you can adapt & use in your particular circumstances. Put one or two of these into practice & you will almost certainly find that your average transaction value will increase to offset the reduction in customer density.

And best of luck with the new normal!

Get in touch to find out more

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We are now almost a third of the way through the last quarter of 2019. After what has been a challenging year for retail, the high street must be holding it’s breath for the end of political turmoil to concentrate on the business of Christmas. Competition as fierce as always, getting customers through the door is key. So what has the biggest influence on footfall? Your window display! So how can you stand out in the crowd and engage with customers in the short moments it takes to walk passed your window? We take a look at some great things you could be thinking about to make the most of the next 2 months.

Know your customer

Magic & Sample

Magic & Sparkle

Worried about being on trend? One thing that never goes out of style is a brand’s ability to capture the imagination and tell its story. Consider your customer’s aspirations and reflect this in your window. They need to identify with the story so it needs to be relatable and relevant.

Take a look at this window by Marks and Spencer, playing on their “festive brand alternative” that has become synonymous with Christmas. The window shows the mannequins have been transformed into fairies with their modern take on a winter wonderland. This window is sure to delight the die hard Marks & Spencer fan as well as being intriguing enough to attract new ones.


Eye level buy level

It makes sense to place the central element of your window display at eye level.  It makes it easier to have an instant impact on customers.  Over time, customers will look forward to seeing it when they pass by. If it is an example of clothing, it will need to inspire and cleverly sell a lifestyle rather than be seen as just a product. Again, it’s all about being engaging as well as relatable.

Clever retail

Trick or treat shop window display

Trick or treat window display

Visual merchandising is more important then ever with competition from on line as well as pop-ups and other shops on the high street. This brilliant shop window by Coles Hardware heralds the Trick or Treat season with a very clever display that cost less than $100. Humour can go a long way in capturing the imagination and getting customers through the door.

Ultimately your window display is your billboard. It’s all about creating drama, impact and the unexpected – and it doesn’t need always need big budgets!




Marks & Spencers photo by Millington Associates

Coles Department Store photo by Noelle Nicks

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We’re looking for the best dressed charity Christmas window of 2018! It’s your opportunity to win £250 of visual merchandising equipment for your store.

As you know, your shop window has the greatest influence in attracting shoppers into your shop so you will have been busy planning your display to make the most of November and December to raise as much money as possible for your cause.

Open to all UK charities and hospices, we would love to see how innovative and ingenious you have been in creating your festive themed windows for 2018.

Charity Christmas Window

This will be your busiest and no doubt the most lucrative time of the year for your shop. You will be competing hard against other big brands on the high street who have considerably larger budgets.  Your shop window will play a massive part in encouraging footfall and inspiring people to come inside. Challenging pre-conceptions of charity shops will also be high on your agenda and Christmas is the perfect opportunity to reach a new demographic for example.

Competition details!

In the judging, we will pay special attention to:

  1. Innovative use of recycling and re-purposing items as props to display your donated products
  2. How your window tells a story
  3. Use of colour

Our winner will receive £250 to spend on Visual Merchandising equipment from Acopia for your store:

Crates and Christmas decorations

Looking festive!

Display ladder

From our Street 76 range

Collection of coloured wooden crates

Great for display!









Female mannequin christmas shop display

Chestnut Tree House Christmas Window

To enter our competition – just send an email letting us know all about the idea behind your theme this year and include up to 5 photographs of your shop window to [email protected] Please submit your entry to us by 12th December 2018.

Our very own Visual Merchandising Trainer, Karen Murray (who has worked with brands such as Selfridges, Marks and Spencer, Gap) will select the winner who will be announced on the 20th of December.

If you would like to take your Visual Merchandising to the next level in 2019, why not get in touch with us at [email protected] to find out more about our FREE training day!

We know you’ll be excited to get involved so please feel free to share and tag your entries with  #acopiabestdressed

Good luck and we look forward to seeing your photographs!

If you would like to find out about your local Visual Merchandising Training with Acopia – get in touch here:

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    Main Image: British Red Cross


    Timing is everything when looking after your most valuable asset – your plant stock. Keeping your planteria environment inviting to your customers and looking its best is time consuming.  Get this wrong and the result could be a loss of sales due to poorly kept stock. Challenges brought about through maintenance and specifically watering are many. Over watering as well as under watering create their own issues with loss of stock, an unsafe customer environment and plant bench deterioration proves costly all round. Wasted resource on time consuming hand watering as well as the cost of the water itself all add up to continual expense if not optimised efficiently. So what’s the answer? Actually it’s Capillary matting!

    Next generation capillary matting

    Managing urgent watering in record breaking temperatures in a busy garden nursery when customers need your full attention is a huge challenge. So what is the solution? Recent pioneering testing with capillary matting has achieved some excellent results which are easy to replicate with correct installation and usage.

    The key benefits of capillary matting

    • Water retention 3 litres/m2
    • Very even water distribution
    • Excellent water take up by plants
    • Rapid water absorption
    • Strong root growth resulting in healthy plants
    • Reduced risk of disease through no excess water
    • Reduced water usage
    • Different thicknesses optimised for different bench types
    • Easy to clean – can be pressure washed or brushed
    • UV stabilised
    Capillary Matting

    Easy watering with Capillary Matting

    This all results in a prolonged bench life for your stock with a system that can be easily adapted to fit any size of bench. Flexible, money saving, low maintenance and can be used for both your indoor and outdoor plant displays.

    Tailor made to deliver incredible savings

    Matting is made-to-measure to exact bench requirements. As it arrives pre-cut, this reduces installation time. This can be calculated at over £1,000 in labour savings for 100 benches over ordinary capillary installation solutions.

    On average, weekly savings have been calculated overall at delivering nearly a £200 reduction per week in watering labour costs as well as over £300 a week in water consumption. As far as plant stock is concerned, garden centres could expect to see a reduction of at least 25% in plant loss.

    To see how it works for yourself, talk to your planteria provider who can work out the expected cost savings you could expect to achieve for your own nursery or network.

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      You may have been following progress on our latest shop-fit in Redhill for our client St Catherine’s Hospice. The 27th of April was the culmination of months of hard work and planning, the new shop in Redhill opened its doors to the community for the first time. Acopia had been involved right from the start with the fit-out from an initial site survey – all the way through to the finishing touches a few days before opening. The shop looked immaculate for the open day!

      This was quite an extensive renovation and our Fit-Out team were on site for a few weeks. The team started by removing the existing shop furnishings and counters, as well as removing walls and flooring. The vision was to create a bright, bold and airy environment with lots of space for customers to move easily around the shop. It was key the look remained uncluttered with products displayed on smart and modern fittings.

      Renovation in progress!

      Renovation in progress!

      Delicious St Catherine's Hospice cupcakes - we had a few of those!

      Delicious St Catherine’s Hospice cupcakes – we had a few of those!

      The wonderful team at Redhill

      The wonderful team at Redhill

      The shop started to take shape with new spaces created such as a new modern kitchen bespoke donation sorting area. New flooring was laid, new walls installed and new electrics run. We then highlighted some of the walls with St Catherine’s Hospice trademark brand colour – their wonderful bright and cheerful orange. We installed a modern twin slot system which worked very well in the space and with the diverse nature of donated products.

      Wayne Stepney, Retail Manager at St Catherine's Hospice with Acopian Account Director Keith Gilbert.

      Wayne Stepney, Retail Manager at St Catherine’s Hospice, with Acopian Account Director Keith Gilbert.

      The first transaction through the till!

      The first transaction through the till!

      With eager customers waiting outside, the doors opened and the shop was was inundated with shoppers keen to support their local hospice. There was a queue at the till within minutes which was a very proud moment for Wayne Stepney, Retail Development Manager, and his team to see after the long months of planning.

      Acopia were thrilled to not only complete the shop-fit but to also be invited to the opening itself. We are delighted to hear that the shop had a very successful first weekend. We know from our clients that our shop fits deliver great return on investment and we shall be returning very soon to catch up with the wonderful team at Redhill.

      If you would like to talk to us about your next shop-fit, just call us on 0845 075 6111 and we would be delighted to chat to you.


      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

      Pic 2

      Well dressed mannequins!

      Pic 3

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

      Pic 4

      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.

      Loyalty schemes are seeing something of a renascence with 64% of brands reporting an increase in memberships over the past year. A lot has to do with the fact that schemes are certainly a lot more sophisticated than they used to be. As more and more retailers understand that the retail landscape is changing and move towards a more omnichannel model, programs can record every customer interaction with their brand, building better profiles to enable greater insights than ever possible before. This allows for more personal marketing to effectively lock-in customer loyalty.

      We take a look at how the traditional image and offering of the ‘reward scheme’ has changed and why customers are keen to embrace this like never before.

      Loyalty driven through personalisation

      Locking In Customer Loyalty

      A trip to the shops

      This is the main driver of acceptance of loyalty schemes and there is a distinct connection between being able to offer this and achieving customer satisfaction. Consumers want to feel like they are an individual, that they receive unique and bespoke offers based on their shopping preferences and buying habits. Being able to deliver these personal experiences with frequent seemingly tailored communications keeps customers engaged and anticipating the next brand ‘message’.

      Connecting brands

      Making the loyalty scheme even more compelling is where brands deliver in greater value to their customers when connecting with partners. This allows strategic partners to reach a new audiences and deliver something really unique to their customer base. It really helps to ‘extend’ the brand in the customer’s eyes with matched special offers.

      Behaving responsibly

      When 81% of millennial’s expect the brands they ‘adopt’ to go beyond just generating profit – they want to buy-in to the brand itself and are determined to hold them socially responsible. Almost 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for products and services if the company is committed to reducing their environmental impact for example. Brands need to do more than simply say they stand for their core values, they need to be seen to living up to them. Creating brand ambassadors through an environment of responsible behaviour creates an emotional connection to the brand-and your opportunity to create customers for life. If you need greater footfall – make your scheme reward instore visits. It’s a fabulous way to incentivise your customer’s spend with you and keep them spending!



      Statistics from Marketing Land, Crowd Twist

      When your retail space first opened – it was bright, fresh, shiny and welcoming. It stocked the latest must-have products, lovingly displayed and was the place to go  – people just loved to shop with you. Now all that seems to have changed  – so how can you revitalise your retail space and get your customers flooding back in? How do you know if it’s time for a retail makeover? Here’s our top 5 guide to knowing if it’s time to make a change!

      How is the space layed out?

      Optimising your space is a science, especially when it is at a premium. Thinking about customer flow through the space and how they can interact with your products is key. Assessing what will work, creating the correct ambience for the outlet to encourage those extra sales from casual browsing all works to maximise those opportunities. Working with an expert in customer flow and product placement can really deliver an enormous return on investment.

      Is your store consistent?

      What does your store say to your customers? Is your signage, for example, the same throughout or are some in colour, black and white, computer generated or even handwritten? Do you have a brand theme for all your displays? Signage, display solutions and mannequins should all work together in a polished harmonious look to support your brand.

      How do customers react to your products?

      Are your displays crammed full of products that don’t invite customers to interact with them? Is it all shown in the same way with nothing standing out as key product promotion areas. If it overwhelms your customers, the likelihood they will leave without purchasing. Take a step back and a fresh look at your displays – what do you see?

      Does Your Store Look Past It Best?

      Retail thrives on bringing customers the very latest trends. It’s all about What’s New? Just as music and clothes fade in and out of fashion – store interiors have style trends too. What looked great in 2019 might be starting to looka bit tired today. Take an honest look – is it in need of a refresh?

      Are Your Sales Suffering?

      Business does not need to be dire straits to benefit from a makeover, stagnant sales are the first sign something may be wrong. Strike now whilst customers are still coming through the door so they can tell like minded friends about your latest look! Show it all off on facebook and instagram and even have a grand re-opening! Incentivise it by offering a free gift for the first 10 people through the door on open day.

      Working with an industry expert can really help you look at your retail space objectively and work with you to achieve a great result. Choices in colour and lighting as well as help with effective display and fittings will all pay dividends at the till! Is it time for your retail makeover?