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 marketing@acopia.co.uk 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 marketing@acopia.co.uk 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


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


Anything that makes a laborious, time consuming process faster and more efficient has to be good news! Our raison d’etre at Acopia has always been to see procurement from the client’s side of the table and we wanted to not only bring tremendous value to this area but to actually transform it from a tedious time consuming task to a positive time and cost saving activity. Working closely with our clients, listening to their challenges, we were able to understand and see first hand how to simplify the whole process and develop a bespoke ordering platform, My Acopia, designed for garden centres just like yours in mind.


All in one place with My Acopia

Woman in garden centre

My Acopia allows you to get back to what you love – you customers and your plants!

Multi-centred garden brands such as Dobbies are already using our platform, but the platform is equally at home with single site centres. No matter the size of your organisation – saving precious time and costs will be important to you. What My Acopia allows you to do is have complete visibility of our spend on all your consumables. From the trolleys and baskets, to the plant ticketing and labeling, to your irrigation systems to your point of sale materials such as plant sleeves and carry home trays – it’s all in one place for easy stock control and re-ordering. We can also supply your cafe and staff rest room with catering supplies – no more petty cash receipts to process and maverick or unexpected spending to deal with! Hassle free procurement!

How does it work?

Spend on consumables, or goods not for resale, can represent up to 25% of your operating costs so it’s important to know you are making the most of this investment. Unlocking the associated costs around procurement and gaining that control over all spend will be key for you. It puts you in the driving seat by being able to see all your products in one place, authorise all spend and decline orders where necessary. You can make repeat orders and have these delivered directly to store location exactly when it’s needed.

My Acopia also allows you to free up precious management time and resource – allowing you to get on with running your business.

If you want to know why Dobbies and other garden centres just like yours are using My Acopia – why not get in touch!

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The arrival of Autumn brings with it the signal that retailers should be well on the way to preparing for the busiest quarter of the year. With the next day and even same day delivery culture driving the pace, retailers will be ensuring they have the resources in place to meet demand. The next 3 months are critical as it provides the best opportunity to make a huge impact on sales with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the run up to Christmas just around the corner.

2018 made for challenging trading conditions on the high street as online sales continue to take the lead. A staggering 87% of retail purchases have been made online so far this year (grocery shopping not included).  This is an increase of over 9% growth from 2017. Royal Mail attribute this increase to consumers consistently pursuing value for money – i.e the cheapest price for the product they want. Retailers need to ensure they are agile enough to respond to this ever changing landscape and buying behaviour and ready to meet demand. So the question is – are you peak season ready? Are you aligned to seize opportunities and make the most of the final quarter in 2018?

Get Peak Season Ready!

One challenge at this time of year for retailers supporting an omni-channel approach amid the rush to get orders out, is ensuring the protective packaging strategy is in place. Keeping customer returns due to damaged deliveries to a minimum during this window of opportunity is crucial. Getting this wrong results in an impact on resource across the whole logistics operation resulting in re-processing and increased despatch costs when goods have to be replaced. Tying up staff at this this busy time of year with additional and needless processing can also have a knock on effect on other existing orders, resulting in potentially late deliveries.

Whether the operation involves a click and collect service in-store or direct delivery – the logistical costs pale into insignificance compared to the cost of reputational and brand damage with disappointed customers.

Things to think about right now!

  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. 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.
  3. Automate where you can – a great deal of your protective packaging and strapping processes can be automated, allowing you to choose from various eco – friendly options. Any part of the packing process can be automated, allowing you to free up valuable resource. Again, your trusted packaging partner can advise on the very best solutions for your needs.

If you need support in ensuring your products arrive in pristine condition, get in touch with our friendly team who can offer a free and no obligation review so you can get the very best returns this festive season!

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We take a look forward to what’s going to be important for industry and with consumers next year. With the implications of packaging in the news and single use plastics of  increasing concern – sustainability, ethical sourcing and recycling will no doubt play a key part in decision making in the months ahead. With consumers looking to brands to behave responsibly, the pressure is on to satisfy with functionality as well as eco friendly solutions that still have the WOW factor!

Shopping for Good

Brands have a tremendous opportunity to be trail blazing and support consumers in adopting positive changes to their shopping baskets. Reducing the environmental impact in processes, sign posting what’s recyclable and how, as well as using materials from sustainable sources all contribute to a better brand outcome as well for the planet. Switching over to environmentally packaging could see an increase in sales and customer loyalty. Customers will see a real commitment and this will leave a lasting impression.

Flexible Packaging

This is one of the most sought after and popular formats of packaging. Flexible packaging readily lends itself to branding and its ability to work across many product areas. With reduced packaging weight with the use of pouches for example and other new developments for retail packaging – it results in cost savings as well as less material waste. National Flexible’s SuperEco laminate film, for example, was been used by UK-based organic food company Infinity Foods, one of our clients at Acopia, to re-launch its brand of pre-packed health foods in a package that is oxy-degradable.


Packaging will continue to play a pivotal role in the customer experience. With 20% of all shopping taking place online, the packaging becomes a key touchpoint with the brand. The packaging becomes just as important as what it contains. Creating unique experiences with personalised branding is set to rise with the emphasis on sharing the experience. The Instagram and You Tube platforms are full of the priceless social proof of shared great brand experiences, showcasing the very best (and very worst in some cases) of personalised packaging.

A selection of luxury products and packaging from Apple

Luxury packaging at its very best

Lap of Luxury

Luxury and specialty packaging is synonymous with premium brands – it becomes an integral part of the brand’s image and research shows that consumers are willing to pay more if packaging looks appealing and luxurious. As well as adding to the value of the product, it also increases brand engagement. The luxury packaging market is forecast to continue to grow by 4.4% reaching $17.6 billion in 2019*

Connect with your customer

The moral of the story is that your packaging is another channel to engage with your customers who will anticipate the next ‘chapter’ of the conversation.


Want to try something different? Talk to the team at Acopia to see how we can help you use innovative packaging to engage with your customers.


*“The Future of Luxury Packaging to 2019”. Smithers Pira. Retrieved 2015-01-08


Attracting customers through the door on the busy high street is more competitive than ever. With community street events, pop-ups and markets all vying for a stake in the shopper’s wallet, the power of visual merchandising becomes the retailer’s hero in the fight for footfall. When visual merchandising is done well, it creates awareness and can increase brand loyalty, but firstly – it needs to inspire and engage. The shop window needs to work harder, tell a story better and convert sales faster.

Visual merchandising for charity shops

Our goal has always been to establish meaningful partnerships that allow us to support growth and returns on investment. We felt that by providing FREE support for a sector we serve, specifically Charity Retail, would help shops in the heart of communities to gain better local traction.

Charities receiving Visual Merchandising training

Visual Merchandising Training at Acopia

Fun learning with other charities

We’ve opened our doors and invited charities to join us to learn the principles of VM such as how to make better displays with unpredictable donated stock, learn about positioning for impulse purchases, improved space planning, customer service – and loads more. It’s also a great networking opportunity to come along and share and swap ideas with other fellow charities.  For a recent workshop we hosted, we were joined by charities QEF, Naomi House, Haven House, St Christopher’s and St Wilfred’s who all put their new found talents to the test by creating some brilliant displays using stock we had sourced – all from local charity shops!

If you feel like joining us for the day to learn some new skills to take back to your shops – just get in touch using the form below, telling us a little bit more about you and your charity!


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With single use plastics and recycling very much in the spotlight, consumers are focused on making better buying decisions based on environmental factors. Consumers are expecting more from the brands they buy from. Brands that are slow to look at being environmentally responsible will soon be the exception rather than the norm. Buying responsibly sometimes isn’t so clear or easy so we have made it easy to spot your opportunity to ‘shop for good’ on our website with our eco mark. This is your reassurance that products have been made from a truly sustainable source or have environmental benefits.

Our Eco symbol – what it means for your business

Sustainable packaging goes beyond purely reducing the environmental impact, brands want to be seen embracing this important component of their product supply. With the digital arena becoming the modern day word of mouth, end user approval and recommendations of your greener packaging solutions will help to lock-in an ethical customer base who will happily talk positively about your brand. It’s your opportunity to set the standard.

Making even small changes to your packaging can make all the difference and will allow you to promote your greener choices and show your customers you care. From simply choosing brown paper self adhesive tape (an ecological alternative to vinyl and polypropylene) to creating your own protective packaging by recycling your cardboard waste with a shredder (where considerable cost savings are to be made too) – there are lots of opportunities to make a difference.

Recyclable packaging

Recyclable packaging

Our green solutions won’t cost the earth

We carry a range of greener options that have been hand picked on merit. These come from sustainable sources or have been made using a significant proportion of recycled materials. Their impact on the wider environment is also of concern of us and we want to ensure that these products have the fewest ecological implications as possible.

So take a look at our website and search for greener options on your favourite products and we are also happy to help you if you need further help and advice for going green!




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Pop-ups have become a permanent feature in the retail industry. They are the answer to bridging the gap between the online store to a presence on the high street. Capturing the unique concept of the transitory – the proposition behind the pop-up is all about excitement, the unexpected and dramatic exteriors. Few could forget the now iconic Adidas trainer pop up and established as well as emerging brands are using this approach to retail to connect with new and existing audiences. Well known brands such as Superdry, Amazon, Yves Saint Laurant, Lego and Mercedes Benz have all embraced this cultural shift towards creating a more personal and exclusive experience. The high impact – short term philosophy is shaking up retail markets globally.

Here today, gone tomorrow

For many online retailers, the pop up provides an exciting and relatively low cost way for helping online retailers explore the high street. It’s a unique opportunity to be able to reach their audience on a much more personal basis and connect with their customer base in a totally new way. Tapping into new audiences with a physical presence empowers brands to engage not only their existing advocates but to create new ones too. This way of creating new and meaningful relationships at a deeper level has proven irresistible for both established and emerging brands.

With the back drop of the transitory nature of the pop-up – it has proven irresistible to customers too. The concept based on excitement and exclusivity, delivering a one-off experience is incredibly powerful and is a huge catalyst in driving footfall. The ‘fear of missing out’ is a great lever that drives customers  – which makes the pop-up perfect!

Pop-up goes from strength to strength

An example of a pop-up shop in London's Boxpark

Pop Up Retail

With the pop-up economy worth over £2.3 billion, it is one of the largest areas of growth in UK retail. There are more than 10,500 pop-up shops in the UK employing more than 26,000 people. 10% of retailers plan to deliver a pop-up experience as part of their retail and marketing strategy in the next 5 years. Due to their flexible nature, it’s the perfect way for brands to test new markets, new products and new locations. New ideas and new markets are the life blood of retail.

London seems to be at the epicentre of the Pop-Up Revolution. Take Boxpark in Shoreditch for example – shipping containers play host to retailers such as Nike who run brand sponsored events from there, attracting huge local support. Charity retailer Oxfam had a pop-up there in 2017 for Halloween selling brand pieces inspired by Victoriana and Gothic fashion. The pop-up philosophy allows the retailer to take creative risks, stepping outside their usual business model.

Creating an experience

Whether you’re an established brand or have a niche following – harnessing this experiential form of marketing creates a buzz and a unique and memorable shopping experience.  At Acopia, we have helped many brands do just that by supporting their ambitions of pop-up retailing. If you would like to know more about the full fit-out service we offer or want to find out more about our full range of shop-fit displays and consumables, just get in touch using the form below and let us know more about your retail vision!


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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.

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? Acopia have been involved in some pioneering testing with capillary matting to achieve optimum results through correct installation and usage.

Here are the key benefits

  • Water retention 3 liters/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 optimized 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 For You to Deliver Incredible Savings

Acopia also tailor the matting to suit your exact bench requirements so all matting arrives pre-cut, ready for a quick and simple installation. This again delivers times savings calculated at over £1,000 in labour for 100 benches over ordinary capillary installation solutions.

On average, weekly savings have been calculated 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.

Acopia supplied pre-cut capillary matting for Dobbies Nurseries across their entire retail estate of 38 centers, enabling them to achieve impressive cost savings. If you would like to find out more about what we could do to support your plant care, please contact Jake Elkins on  07881 311 857 to book a FREE no obligation appraisal of your watering needs or contact us using the form below.

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Would shoppers buy their Christmas or birthday presents from a charity shop? It’s a question that many may have not have considered before. Where a few years ago the answer may have been a definite “no”, today things have changed and the public’s perception of charity shops is also changing.

With concern about the environment and with the spotlight on re-purposing and recycling, charities play a huge roll in protecting our planet. Every donation to a charity shop helps with reducing carbon emissions, around 6.9 million tons a year, as well as resulting in less waste. Last year, charity shops prevented 323,000 tonnes of textiles going to landfill. So not only is shopping at the local charity store great for the pocket, it’s great for the planet too! Charity shops raise more than £270 million a year for good causes across the UK and abroad, as well as providing over 23,000 jobs.  The charity retail sector has more than 230,000 volunteers, the largest single group in the country. Pretty amazing statistics!

Expect the unexpected

Step inside a charity shop today and the difference is clear. A collection of eclectic goodies probably displayed like a modern high street shop with modern interiors. Some specialise in vintage clothing, antiques, furniture or pre-loved wedding dresses for example.  It’s like entering an Aladins cave of discovery of hidden gems! Some Charity stores have completely destroyed the preconceptions of what a charity store should look like. Take a look at these stunning examples – inviting, exciting, unique and incredibly creative. All are setting benchmarks and receiving awards on the charity scene.


FARA charity shop


Cancer Research


Mary Portas Living & Giving Shop










Posh Pop-Up

Recently Harrods unveiled their luxury charity pop-up store, raising money for the NSPCC with pre-owned designer items. Located on Sloane Street and named Fashion Re-told, it opened for a month with the aim to compete with the likes of Mulberry, Loewe, and Paul Smith for a fraction of the price. The concept for the decor was to be completely Instragrammable, perfect for unique photo opportunities, encouraging shoppers to share their experiences. It’s something that will no doubt be followed by other design houses and big brands who recognise the value of shopping for good.

Street 76 

Street 76

Street 76

We recently showcased our latest display system at the recent Charity Retail Conference. Street 76 is  modern, adaptable and guaranteed to make the most out of product lines or donated stock. Enhanced with industrial looking baskets and display cages, the ability to display clothing side hanging or forward facing, and shelves that can be moved as quickly as your stock changes.

The very epitome of flexibility and style, Street76™ allows you to create key product focused areas as well as providing virtually limitless display options for a whole range of merchandise. If you are looking to create that urban environment with true adjustability and variety, then look no further!

We also have a range of complimentary furniture items including console tables, ladder shelves, podiums and counters. These can be integrated as part of the Street76™ look, with our fashion feature stands which are made of milled steel – creating a unique shopping experience for your customers.



Want to find out more about our full fit-out service and display range options? Of course you do! Please complete the form below:

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Statistics from the Charity Retail Association

Once again Apple were ahead of the game when they launched their new retail experience show pieces (see our blog from September 2017). Designed around anticipating customer needs and providing a reason to visit their shops other than just to buy products, keeps Apple as one of the most successful consumer brands. With their landscaped locations, help desks and comfortable rest areas, Apple’s intention was to provide a space for the community to relax and enjoy, and maybe – just maybe – buy the latest iphone!

We know that retail continues to evolve to keep pace with consumer demand. It’s also interesting to see which brands are getting this right – what do they have in common to keep customers flooding through their doors? Great brands have a great story, they engage their audience who buy-in to their journey and their values and they find a place in the “community”. Luxury brands such as Joules and design house Kate Spade are the first to admit that their story finds its place with their customers and consequently firmly on the high street. Mary Beech the Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Kate Spade commented “Our goal is to continually be telling our story, ensuring we create thoughtful, unique programming and engaging with our customer whenever or wherever she wants”. This was put into action with an augmented reality campaign to publicise the launch of its Paris store.

Retailers Creating Experiences

Community Retail


Community Hubs is something we will be hearing more about in the coming weeks and months as retailers continue to take a look at their offer and what more they can do to become integral to the high street, providing more reasons to visit.  Retailment is about providing customers with a fun and unique experience instore. Walmart stores in Little Rock Arkansas had the idea to bring in professional bullfighters to sign autographs instore which was a huge hit and resulted in increased footfall as well as media coverage. A stunt such as using real people in shop windows instead of mannequins which was done by NY&C store in Cerritos was another great way of getting the local community involved and talking about the store. When was the last time you saw a shop window full of “live mannequins”!

Standing out from the crowd

No matter what else continues to change on the high street, creating a welcoming space and environment which showcases your products will never go out of fashion. If you need help or advice on planning your next retail adventure – be it a popup, boutique, trade counter or charity – we can help you get a great return on investment.

Want to know more about what we can do for your business? Drop us a line:

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The Charity Retail Show is just days away and we are excited to be show-casing our unique display system Street76 which we have designed and developed to ensure it always remains on-trend and infinitely adaptable.

Street76 has been exclusively engineered to allow for ease of assembly and dismantling in a matter of seconds to enable shelves and hanging spaces to be moved quickly to reflect new stock and product lines, keeping you business ready at all times. This was a key component when we designed Street 76, allowing for quick and effortless adaptation for changing stock whilst minimising ‘down time’.

We wanted to reflect the high street and also ensure that the range continues to evolve with new additions as well as complementary furniture to accommodate different merchandise.

Street 76

Street 76

With different types of shelving and industrial cages and baskets – the range looks modern and robust and allows for different product ranges as well as providing for exciting ways to display merchandise, creating key product areas.  Street76 establishes a stylish and relaxed environment for shoppers to browse merchandise and encourage purchases.

Charity shop merchandise is impossible to predict with donated products which is why Street76 is perfect. When a key item is donated, the display can be re-arranged in seconds to accommodate it.  Having the ability to move your stock and display around quickly also keeps the shop looking new and fresh for regular shoppers.

Come and see us at the Charity Retail Show where you can take a look at the range for yourself and chat to our team to find out the full benefits of bringing Street76 to your retail estate.

Have you heard the news? Our NEW shop is open!

We’ve had a makeover and we’re excited to show off our brand new look.

We still have all your favourite products plus lots of new features we know you’ll love!

We’ve improved the structure of the website so you’ll find it easier to navigate whether you’re in the office or on the move.

You’ll find it quicker to access the information you need as well being able to see our whole product range at a glance. You may know us already for our protective packaging or for our retail consumables – in fact we offer so much more!

There’s more in store at Acopia!

We provide a complete solution for Goods Not For Resale – that’s everything that’s needed to keep your network or organisation running effectively everyday.

No one in the industry has our experience or knowledge gained over 42 years of experience working with our clients on bespoke business solutions. We operate in diverse range of sectors, servicing industry from Aviation to Healthcare to Sports & Leisure.

Service Driven

From looking after your warehousing and storage needs, to working with you on bespoke product development – our team of experts are on hand to ensure you get the very best out of your partnership with Acopia. Our specialist sales support team are your first port of call with non-stock items and special requirements.

Some of our Shop Fit Range

Some of our Shop Fit range

3D Retail Design Experience – Shop Fit and Fit Out

We specialise in innovative ways to display product in-store to create areas of interest and focus for shopping customers. We have a collaborative approach and a range of display solutions that create the perfect environment to support optimal sales. With our recent display range launch of Street 76 we bring you the latest high street looks.

Acopia prides itself at being at the forefront when it comes to providing support, advice and materials for your shop-fit. We can project manage the whole process for you, from concept stage, to designing your store layout, supplying all the materials and project managing the fit-out.

We work with you right from the start to bring your ideas and plans to life. We take your vision and turn it into reality before a single pot of paint has been opened. We pride ourselves at being at the cutting edge in the industry by being able to present you with 3D drawings of your finished shop!

So why not take a look at our featured products for May as well as our team’s Top Picks!

Discover more at Acopia – and explore your new website here!

It’s been a long hard struggle to bring your new product to market and customers love your ‘next big thing’ but has your packaging been an afterthought? Will you be able to despatch safely? Will it reflect your brand? Will it engage your customers? Getting the packaging right for any product is so crucial to its continued success. We take a look at what you need to consider before your launch.

What your product needs – what your customer will love

Your product will have specific packaging requirements to ensure it is kept looking its best during its lifestyle as well as appealing to your demographic. The packaging should fit the product, not the other way round. Compromising on the packaging will damage your brand – as well as potentially your product! How will your product be shipped? Will it need to fight for attention in a store? Well designed packaging will need to consider all aspects of the journey post-production.

Will the packaging attract the customer when browsing online or in-store? Will they find it appealing? Does it reflect the brand? Does it pitch the product correctly in the price bracket? Is the packaging suited to the product? Can your potential customer be influenced into buying on the strength of the packaging?

Work with a partner



Taking a product to market can be overwhelming and mistakes costly. Working with a trusted partner can help you navigate around a maze of potential pitfalls. From helping you to optimise your packaging line as well as ensuring product delivery in perfect condition using the most efficient methods and materials available – an industry expert can save you time and money getting your products to market quicker or improving your operation for existing products.

Creating a special un-boxing experience will also be important for delighting your customer base to developing loyal repeat purchases and extend the essence of your brand right down in those finishing touches. It’s an opportunity for clever messaging, unexpected use of colour and a chance to make a brand connection.

At Acopia, we have over 42 years of experience in helping brands take product to market with expert industry advice gained by working with diverse products and sectors.

If you require advice on your next big thing – give our friendly team a call!

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.


Offering a seamless shopping experience and cohesive brand interaction at every possible customer touchpoint is every retailer’s dream. To have that consistency and predictability built-in, regardless of channel, creates a truly connected retail experience. When consumers are dictating how and when they prefer to shop, retailers need to stay ahead to not only anticipate but to delight with clever enhancements to their offer. Bringing Clicks and Bricks together to compliment, support and drive growth is the key.

If we take Apple and look at their holistic approach to the customer experience, regardless of channel, the customer can rely on consistency and innovation. It’s all built around quick access to pertinent product information and faster ways to pay – convenience and delight at every opportunity.

Clicks to bricks – the next level

Clicks and bricks

Clicks and bricks

To create that seamless experience is one thing but how to drive growth by combining the strength of online and in-store with each providing support and adding value to the other. Over 61% of shoppers in a recent survey researched products online before going to the store to make a purchase. Online sales continue to grow, with nearly 30% of all sales being online, compared to just 21% in 2016. Shoppers will also use their phone in-store to research and share product information. Savvy retailers offer free wi-fi to allow consumers to connect. This all helps to enhance the shopping experience and ultimately encourage sales.

Offers that drive consumers to the store with redeemable vouchers supports consumer connection to their local store and having the online functionality to select click and collect in-store for free and next day again locks in a positive brand experience.

All change!

Charity shops are also understanding the power behind a multi-channel presence with their own online stores or ebay accounts. This could be a mixture of donated and all brand products, with some specialising in popular vintage products. Sue Ryder is a great example of a charity that have embraced this opportunity and extended the reach of their brand and connected with a new demographic.

Creating brand stand-out in today’s hectic retail space with high street brands such as Next finally being able to consolidate pan-channel.

Which brands do you feel have achieved this cohesive presence and who do you think is struggling to keep up?




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.

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.


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.

At Acopia, we have our very own Rewards Program where our customers can shop the big brands, choose from great team experiences or individual gifts and products. Ask your Account Director for more information on how to join our program.


Statistics from Marketing Land, Crowd Twist

Retail isn’t dying – it’s evolving! As consumers demand more than ever from their brands, and to be treated as an individual – retail has been playing catch up to a certain extent. The winners are those who can treat consumers like they value their time and their business, locking in loyalty. So what will be the top 3 retail trends for 2018.

Last year saw exciting growth for online retail with a growth increase of over 24% – but the great gains are to be made where retailers can create a seamless environment for both their online and offline enterprises. According to Google, 78% of all local searches on mobile result in a purchase instore within 24 hours. 10 years ago – the main challenge was to convince people to commit to purchasing online – now it’s all about how fast retailer’s can get purchases to their customers. How times have changed!

So what is going to be important for this year in retail?


This will become the buzzword of 2018 and it’s about creating a strong sense of connection where common interests are shared, where advice can be sought and recommendations given. Retailers that can facilitate this environment will be able to secure impressive loyalty for the brand. Take Apple who took their outlets to the next level by creating community hubs that offer an immersive customer experience with access to developers so customers feel they are playing a role in the next generation of products. The famous Genius Bar is now the Genius Grove  – trees included! So it even looks like the local neighbourhood! Again – by providing access to leaning hubs or learning centres creates that all important  sense of belonging.


This was a hot trend in 2017 and the sense that a brand or retailer fully understands your pain points, tastes and needs is truly powerful. Companies like Netflix and Spotify provide personalised playlists for their customers based on previous purchases – and once the consumer is exposed to this level of ‘bespoke’ treatment, it becomes the expected norm, rather than the exception. Retailers need to get this right though!

In-Store Experience

In-Store experience

In-Store experience

Creating memorable in-store experiences is fast becoming the ultimate complement to the online platform. Retail space is no longer about a place for products, it is now all about entertainment and community. Experiential retailing is the emerging trend which demonstrates the clever combination of merchandising and hospitality/entertainment management. Providing the unexpected is key – and it needs to be fun, such as discovering a Pop Up Shop where it would be least expected much to the delight of local shoppers. Pottery Barn featured local artisans selling their products along side their own merchandise for a special event- all this keeps the consumer coming back for more in case they miss out on the next exciting in-store promotion or event.

Is it time to ring in the changes?

Enhancing your actual in-store environment, maintaining a contemporary look and remaining relevant will be key in 2018. Look at your lighting – could this work harder for you – setting the scene for a more relaxed buying environment for your retail space? Are your mannequins old fashioned? Are they putting people off coming in? Have your display stands seen better days? Are your display areas adaptable and portable allowing you to give the impression of change in-store? Have you considered your customer flow and does your store layout optimise every opportunity?

If all this sounds overwhelming, help is at hand! Acopia are experts in Space Planning, Project Management, Shop Fittings and Fit-Out. We have an incredible team who work with you every step of the way to achieve your vision. Let us help you transform your retail space and help create your very own ‘brand theatre’!

With the most significant day in the retail calendar so far in 2018, Valentine’s Day continues to grow in stature by becoming a favourite with UK shoppers with almost half  planning to purchase something to celebrate. With a recent survey finding that 39% of shoppers expect to spend more on Valentine’s Day this year than they did in 2017 – this certainly is shaping up to give retail a solid start to the year.

Valentine’s Day is even more popular now than Easter in terms of consumer spend, with this retailers have a massive opportunity to capitalise on a lucrative early start to the year. Savvy retailers will be sure to respond to this by increasing their Valentine’s ranges of both premium and personalised gift options as consumers increasingly prefer to spend a bit more money on quality gifts.

How much are consumers spending?

With an average spend of nearly £30 per person to mark the occasion tomorrow – Valentine’s Day continues to transcend age with all generations afflicted with the Love Bug! A near equal amount of millennials (68.8%), Gen Xers (69.3%) and baby boomers (68.4%) are planning to celebrate in some way. On average, Gen Xers are spending the most with £33.94 per person, followed by millennials at £25.75 each and then baby boomers with £25.47.

How are consumers spending their money?

Most intend to treat their husband or wife at 59.6%, followed by 28.2% spending on their boyfriend or girlfriend. Flowers still come in at the top of the love list with £102 million estimated to be spent tomorrow! Food and drink treats still continue to dominate with an estimated £53 million being spent on chocolate alone.

Locking in Loyalty

A retail event such as this is a prime opportunity to reach out to new audiences and new demographics.  It’s also a great way to make the most of your brand. At Acopia – we are experts in helping retailers make a big splash! Nothing says special more than fancy gift bags and gorgeous tissue papers when making that Valentine’s Day purchase. That little added touch of luxury when a customer has bought a treat for themselves, or a gift for a friend or relative, all adds to the occasion of purchasing, giving and receiving – and who doesn’t appreciate a gift presented in lovely packaging adorned with ribbons and bows!


To find out more about our full range of goods not for resale for retail – get in touch with our friendly team.



Stats from Mintel and Savvy


There is no escaping product packaging. Whether it’s at the visit to the supermarket or when receiving goods ordered online – consumers are bombarded with visual ‘messages’ or clues that subtlety tells the shopper all about the quality of the product. Packaging complexity and design continues to evolve to meet changing needs and requirements – and the greatest changes are to be seen in the world of e-commerce and the growing consumer reliance on this.


Bang On Trend?

Recreating that in-store visual experience in the consumer’s home can be a challenge, but with great design and packaging that reflects the product and supports the brand – the packaging can become so much more of the whole experience. So what’s hot for 2018? We take a look at 3 key trends



Eco Friendly Packagings

With the focus on the environment never more important, brands are keen to align themselves eco-friendly alternatives for packaging that not only save the world but look beautiful too. So using less plastic and re-usable packaging will resonate with consumers.

Finding green solutions for protective packaging couldn’t be easier. At Acopia we have a complete range of packaging products from truly sustainable sources, selected on merit and significantly reduce their impact on the environment.

A recent survey confirmed that consumers are very much eco-aware and 57% stated that eco-friendly packaging was important to them with 61% claiming that they think about whether products they are potentially purchasing are using eco-friendly packaging.




The fabric of today’s society is based on fast access, disposabilty and immediate response – Vintage is the antidote to this. People are looking for nostalgia and permanence. The vintage or retro look has never been so popular and it’s an opportunity to reach out to a new demographic and revitalise a brand.


It has never been so important today for brands to ‘speak’ to their customers. This was a huge trend in 2017 and will continue to be strong in 2018. Personalised packaging gives the customer the opportunity to become part of the experience, or even the chance to personalise the product itself with brands such as Nike offering custom colour options on their trainers for example.

At Acopia, we specialise in creating extraordinary packaging solutions for the brands we look after. Speak to our friendly team about harnessing the latest trends and revitalising your packaging!

We all know that shopping and spending habits are changing and continue to evolve as consumers use the ever increasing options available to access products. Something that is a constant requirement however by most consumers, irrespective of where they purchase their products, is receiving a great customer experience. Retailers that can deliver this can unlock greater returns and lock-in customer loyalty. We take a look at customer habits and shopping trends and how a great customer experience can truly influence purchasing which is great news for retailers.

What is the shopping landscape now?

People are still much more likely to shop on the high-street than online. A recent survey showed that nearly six out of 10 (59%) of UK shoppers visit the high street once a week. In the last 90 days, 40% of respondents were more likely to have shopped on the high street compared to 30% of those who had shopped online.

How to energise the high street

Customer experience on the high streetOver half of consumers (53%) said lower prices and discounts would encourage them to the high street more often. However, the bigger picture reveals a need for greater convenience – easier and better parking, items being in stock and great customer service were the key areas shoppers are looking for to improve their whole shopping experience.

The influence of customer experience

Customer loyalty is a key driver of revenue. When 64% of UK shoppers are more likely to return to the high street after receiving great customer service,  retailers can not afford to leave this chance – or get this wrong. An enormous 70% of shoppers said that after receiving a terrible in-store experience meant that they no longer shopped there. The biggest issues were slow service, knowledgeable staff, difficulty in finding products and confusing store layouts.


Are you winning?

With so much at stake, it’s crucial that the in-store experience delivers a flawless experience. Whether it is access to knowledgeable staff, being able to navigate easily around a well planned store or finding products with ease  – it all adds up to winning that all important customer loyalty.

At Acopia, part of our service offer of turn key shop fit and installation examines the customer journey in store in terms of layout, areas for product focus, supporting retailers to maximise spend through clever use of product display ranges. If you would like to see what we can do for your retail estate, please get in touch with our friendly team.


Survey results by MarketForce Information

Visual Merchandising is about creating an inspiration shopping experience designed to maximise sales and encourage repeat visits and purchases. As we head towards Christmas, high street shops have been creating festive Winter Wonderlands to entice customers in-store. It’s the most important time in the retail calendar so competition is fierce when it comes to attracting people through the door not only with incredible shop windows but by creating stunning in-store displays.

The famous Selfridges flagship store created their iconic Winter Wonderland this year before Halloween! More than 500 people had been working on the festive extravaganza for more than a year with 100 working continuously for 24 hours on shifts in the last 8 days. That tells you all you need to know about how important Visual Mechandising, or VD, is to retail.

The  Shop Window

Creating the perfect window display relies on selecting the right on-trend products, props, accessories, graphics, colour, lighting and music  – which all work to stimulate the senses to creating a lifestyle approach that shoppers immediately connect with. It has the greatest effect on impulse buying and influencing purchases. Window displays can immediately convey style, content and price.

Interior displays

Visual merchandising can be used to capture the attention of consumers whilst they are in the store, which are essential in the buying decision-making process. The retailer must consider the customer’s needs during this process and their shopping ‘journey’. Factors to consider include the store layout, store design, point of purchases displays, item display, assortment display and signage. When applied successfully within a store, these factors can work to anticipate the needs of the consumer and support and provide a positive in-store purchasing environment.

Bringing it all together

Shoes in shop window, VM, Visual Merchandising

Great products need great displays – from mannequins that are on-brand with a chosen look or feel – to scaffolding style display systems that scream urban and modernity – there is so much to choose from to engage with the right demographic for a particular brand.

If you want to know more about how to make the most of your products in order to maximise sales – talk to our Fitout team members about creating that all important atmosphere in-store which is bang on trend for your brand!




Selfridges escalator image credit: Susan@dulynotedagain

The British love affair with the high street is far from over – the relationship is just changing that’s all. Just like in all good relationships, needs and requirements change over time. In a recent survey, it was revealed that when a consumer wants to make an important purchase, two thirds would buy in-store rather than relying on buying online. So the future looks bright with over 81% of consumers stating they intended to visit the high street within the next 12 months in contrast of 60% that will do so online, providing the high street can continue to satisfy.

To keep the love affair alive, the high street needs to respond and anticipate. Remaining agile and ahead of the technology curve is one idea that could see shoppers coming back for more. 70% of shoppers want to see more in-store technology to improve the experience such as tablets, kiosks or touch screen devices. It showed that 60% of customers who used a tablet where provided went onto purchase the product they were considering – that’s a powerful conversion rate!

The survey also showed that shoppers are intolerant of queues – nothing new there – and 54% would like to see more Point Of Sale Options, especially in peak times.  The return on investment here is potentially huge with 53% of consumers stating they would pay higher prices for a better in-store experience! It’s enough to make a retail giant’s heart skip a beat!

Ian Gilmartin, Head of Retail & Wholesale at Barclays commented that “Our research reveals that the public still see the high street as an essential part of the shopping experience and as a national treasure they want to see protected”

Creating that immersive seamless experience means change. Giving shoppers an exceptional customer experience is high up on the list of wants such as more knowledgeable staff, more intuitive shop layouts and entertainment for the ‘non-shopping’ members of the family or group. It can mean taking a fresh look at the store layout, creating new spaces and using new display solutions for in-store technology hubs for example.

Acopia have been providing collaborative support for Retail for over 40 years – get in touch to find out how we can help you with new technology and innovative display solutions in-store.




Survey and statistics: Customer Experience Magazine – Bouncepad & Barclays

This week saw the much anticipated launch of the latest Apple products – delivered in another spectacular presentation of advanced features that leave competitors in their wake. Interestingly they might not always be first to market with the latest technology – Samsung have enjoyed domination with the Edge for many years – but now the Iphone X has landed with a responsive full screen, no home button and with 3D facial recognition – your face is now the password! The list of innovations is seemingly endless.  Bring on a new era of customer experience! Oh and the marketing? Sublime!

The Apple Watch that doesn’t need a phone

The latest edition of the Apple Watch Series 3 allows you to stay connected – without your phone! It’s a stunning step forward and with another upgrade to the exercise app, the Series 3 takes your workout partner to another level. Functionality to upload your workout playlists directly to your watch gives the wearer new freedom on an unprecedented scale.

The data that Apple has collected from all its users of their exercise app has been collated and analysed to help their customers even further. The data has allowed incredible improvements to the heart rate app so it can notify wearers if their heart begins to beat irregularly it will alert the user to possible health conditions. No other brand has taken their customer relationship to such a personal level.

Your new Community

Apple is the fastest growing retailer in history, engineering a ‘cult’ following as it continues to push the boundaries with technology and customer experience. Their vision of their new retail stores are about building and creating communities. Their staff are scrutinised and need to demonstrate that they are completely wedded to the Apple culture before they are let loose on the sales floor. The saying goes that it’s harder to get a job at Apple than be accepted accepted at Stanford University. It shows the importance Apple places on the in-store experience and the need to reflect and support the online brand promise.

The new retail store will create an immersive customer experience with access to developers so customers feel that they are playing a role in the next generation of products. The Genius Bar is now the Genius Grove accented by trees and outdoor areas and hubs or learning centers to find out more about iPhone photography and Apple Music for example, as well as informal coffee areas and sections where new businesses and start ups can get advice from their app developers. Apple are positioning themselves as the go-to place in the local community for work, rest and play, an indispensable part of your world.

Being constantly able to anticipate and lead change and being able to offer more reasons to visit instore is the key to unlocking continued retail success.


Image Credits: Apple

£133 billion was spent on online shopping last year and as consumers continue to embrace this change in their purchasing habits, seeking out convenience and the ‘next-day’ delivery promise, many online retailers are playing catch up optimising their protective packaging strategies.

Online retailers are often criticised for excessive packaging in the pursuit to getting their products to their customers in pristine condition. Research shows that consumers can be brutal in their decision making after receiving damaged goods. Research shows that a massive 73% of consumers who receive a damaged shipment are unlikely to order from the same retailer again. This in effect becomes a lost customer and not only that, with the ever growing strength in social media ‘reviews’, this also becomes a huge PR headache as far as damage limitation is concerned. It’s easy to see why retailers are keen to avoid this scenario, however, by not getting their protective packaging properly optimised for their specific products creates the on-going issue of unnecessary packaging.

With the spotlight on the environment and with consumers making decisions based on a company ethics and social responsibility – the retailer is faced with a challenge in finding that all important balance in recycling, re-use and reduction expectations, as well as getting goods delivered intact. According to a recent survey*, more than 70% of consumers think retailers use too much packaging for online orders, creating an extra one million metric tonnes of waste every year. That’s a staggering figure and really shows that consumers expect and demand more sustainable and environmental action. It also revealed that 66% of consumers had received their order and the protective packaging was much bigger than the actual item. This is a complaint that is often aired on countless un-boxing videos on You Tube with consumers again highlighting that retailers need to do more.

58% felt the excessive packaging was often difficult to open and once finally inside their parcel, found the internal packaging difficult to dispose of responsibly. 62% agreed that they would think more of the brand or retailer if they did more to address these issues.

Getting The Balance Right

There are a few simple steps that can be put in place to ensure the Retailer can delight their customers again and again with successful deliveries of undamaged goods, as well as refining or optimising the packaging used. Getting the right protective packaging for the product is absolutely vital in reducing waste, getting the right sized packaging and helping the consumer to recycle more. This will result in not only a cost reduction for the retailer but also happier customers who appreciate the efforts being made.

Talking to industry experts in protective packaging can really help an e-commerce operation optimise process, materials and costs. At Acopia, we have over 40 years experience in helping our customers achieve just that. Why not put us to the test and talk to the team today as we head towards the busy peak season.


Survey conducted by Clouder.co.uk

A unique trial comparing the same everyday products with the only change being their associated packaging has recently been conducted.  The results are startling!

Products were rated 35% better overall simply down to the packaging. Consumers rated perfume smelling 60% nicer and wine tasted 53% better purely down to the quality of the packaging! It means that the part packaging plays in adding quality and value to a product can not be underestimated.

Six everyday items were chosen for the trial.  Biscuits, chocolates, perfume, wine, a t-shirt, and a set of wine glasses to understand how packaging could influence price and the perceived quality of the products. These identical items were shown to 100 consumers with half being wrapped in value/ low-end packaging and the other half in luxury packaging.  It showed that consumers were willing to pay up to 3 times more, on average, for an identical product, 4 times more for the chocolates!

So the packaging seemed to influence how things tasted and the trial demonstrated that the trial participants were willing to pay 7 times more for biscuits when they were presented in a trendy canister pack, for example,  rather than a basic simple cellophane wrap.

73% agreed that their perception of the packaging played a massive role in understanding or sign-posting if the product was premium or low value and was a huge influence in choosing a product. The quality of the packaging was also a key factor in deciding on purchasing an item as a gift, even if the product itself was inferior.  If the packaging resonated with them and looked luxurious, they would still buy the product.

It is clear that packaging plays an integral role in the decision making process and drives consumer understanding of premium or low value brands. Being able to charge more for a product purely based on packaging alone means that retailers need to be incredibly tactical with the packaging associated with their brand.

If you require help in in ensuring you can command premium prices for your products – get in touch with the team at Acopia. We can design your packaging for optimal consumer spend!


Trial conducted by Packaging Innovations London

By the end of the year, over 25% of the global population will be over fifty.  In the UK alone, fifty-somethings will represent over 35% of the population. Whilst some marketers are concentrating their efforts and budgets on the Millennial Generation – the largest sector with the most dispensable income are in fact the over fifties! This represents an extremely lucrative opportunity for retailers, especially across e-commerce,  providing they get their messaging and presentation right!

To connect and engage with this particular demographic needs careful consideration in the targeting process and the need to recognise that this age group includes both active elements, as well as those who are looking to slow down into their seventies and beyond. It is a multi-faceted audience with different requirements and motivations and few brands are considering this potential audience. Those that are might not doing it so well and falling into the stereotype trap. Some that are breaking down the these stereotypes successfully are brands such as MAC, Jimmy Choo, Lanvin and Delvaux who have all featured campaigns with 70+ models. Bigger brands with a larger product range need to think how they can become increasingly relevant across age bands.

As many people entering their 50’s are still active in the workplace and plan to be so for years to come, the idea of being ‘old’ happens much later than it used to. In fact, only 8% of people in the UK regard people of 50-60 as being old, while only 5% of those over 65 feel their age.* Over 80% of 55-64 year olds have internet access across the UK with a current collective spending power of over £14 billion, and by 2025 they are expected to make up two-thirds of all retail activity.** They are an e-commerce retailers’ dream demographic! Andreas Pouros, COO and co-founder of Greenlight digital marketing agency said:

“Here lies an audience with more disposable cash, which is totally suited to ecommerce; eager to compare products and prices, shop flexibly and have products delivered to their door.”

So what does the on-line retailer need to consider when it comes to packaging in this particular age group? Research shows that shoppers in this demographic are often more exacting and demanding in their expectations. Purchasing choices are more likely to reflect sustainable values. The focus should be on quality and customer experience. Investment in high quality packaging is worthwhile and brands should consider a luxury approach, derived from sustainable sources and 100% recyclable.

Again, not to stereotype but with many over 40’s needing to reach for their reading glasses, packaging needs to be accessible with appropriately sized branding and copy. Dexterity issues may also cause problems actually opening the packaging – this all needs to be considered when wishing to deliver that amazing customer experience. Poorly designed packaging won’t be tolerated and brands could end up on a You Tube video starring in an un-boxing video for all the wrong reasons!

Want to find out more about how the right packaging can help your brand resonate with your target audience? Why not talk to the friendly team at Acopia, with over 40 years of experience – we will have the right solution for you and your brand.


*Statistics from Campaign – Kantar company, TNS Omnibus, interviewed 1187 GB adults between 27/06/2013 – 01/07/2013. All interviews were conducted as online self-completion. The data is weighted to match population totals for age, sex, social grade, working status, presence of children, 2010 voting patterns and region. Read more at http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/unstoppables-brands-engage-over-50s/1194290#5YFIytVjDZuMxe1j.99

** Statistics from Greenlight Digital Marketing Agency

The Customer Experience is King! The in-store environment has to deliver. It’s time to rip up the rule book and start again!

With Amazon’s uncanny knack of finding and exploiting the in-store weakness and turning this into its latest killer USP that leaves emulators trailing in its wake, its latest offering must be leaving other clothes retailers stunned. Buying clothing on-line can be a tricky and expensive business. One may need to buy the same item in two different sizes to ensure a great fitting garment. The problem is the word BUY. It’s not like the fitting room in the local boutique where one can try on several garments – for free! Buying clothing on-line can see costs rack up purely to eliminate ill-fitting clothes. So what do Amazon do? They provide a service to all Prime Members where they can select a number of garments for FREE in this scenario! And there you have it – the customer pain point eradicated. The rule book re-written!

How does the high street fight back? The answer – make it personal! One such retailer has done just that. Runner Camp a sports clothing outlet has turned their retail space into an homage to fitness. It’s ALL about the in-store experience and shoppers are greeted by not only technical apparel but also a fully functioning gym! It includes a running track, interactive exercise room, showers and lockers. Consumers are encouraged to use Runner Camp from sunrise to sunset! No on-line retailer could compete with that customer experience. The bold colours and urban materials of steel and concrete are evocative of a high-end local gym. It’s perfection in both design and execution.



In one forgotten street in London – Bird Street, just off Oxford Street, a transformation has occurred! It’s the city’s first Smart Street – a shopping lane packed with environmentally friendly and cutting edge technology. It offers shoppers an immersive experience such as a pavement that generates energy as it’s walked on – this could be a snap shot of what the future of retail looks like. An area renowned for particular products, a centre of excellence and a customised experience.

Creating these highly personalised environments that fit the ambiance and products can need some work. Working with a supplier who can bring a retailer’s vision to life is key. It’s good to work with a team that can create a 3D CAD image of retail space with complementary shop fittings and furniture that can work wonders with your brand and products.


Acopia have over 40 years retail experience in bespoke shopfitting solutions and interior retail space design. If you want to create a personalised space for your customers – we’d love to hear from you!


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 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 ambiance 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 2010 might be looking a bit tired today. Take an honest look – is it in need of an 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.

Working with an industry expert can really help you look at your retail space objectively and work with you to achieve a great result. At Acopia, we pride ourselves in providing turn-key solutions for Fit-Out by managing the entire process as well as supplying all the display items.


Why not give our friendly team a call and find out what we can do for your retail space – we’d love to hear from you.

Nothing speaks louder to consumers than packaging that connects with them on a personal basis. The power of personalised packaging can draw customers to a brand, identifying with them on an individual level.  It becomes a novelty item that uniquely engages and the product is likely to retained by the customer, along with photographs being shared across social media. It becomes a word of mouth endorsement of the brand throughout peer networks. What does this mean for the product? Free marketing and publicity and countless new brand ambassadors!

Making your brand stand out from the crowd is child’s play with this clever engagement strategy. Your brand becomes your customer’s personal brand. Does it work? The number of big brands adopting this strategy is impressive – with Coca Cola being one of the first to set this trend. Their 2013 ‘Share a Coke’ campaign sold over 150 million personalised bottles. Raffaele Pace, Labelling Product Manager said that the campaign ran in over 30 European countries and included 150 of the most popular names from each country.* It lead to an increase of sales in the UK by 2.75%.

This format has been employed by the likes of Marmite, Nutella, Walkers, Heinz and Kit-Kat – the list goes on.  Why does using someone’s name become so powerful and compelling? It is said that it is one of the most effective ways to instil a sense of importance and create a long lasting impression.

As retail moves closer to the consumer with the goal of providing a personal shopping experience, this brand ‘enhancement’ certainly fits this ethos. Consumer expectations of interactions with  their favorite brands are changing, now with direct access through social media, this reflects the new ‘dialogue’ or ‘conversations’ consumers are having with big brands.

Bringing that personal touch to packaging certainly delivers a return on investment. Whether it is on a grand scale like Coca Cola or by way of a personal handwritten note to the recipient, it all works to inspire that concept of individuality. Working with a packaging industry expert can really make the most of your individualising your brand. If you would like to know more about making a brand connection with your customers – get in touch with the friendly team at Acopia, we’d love to hear from you.



*Taken from an interview in BerverageDaily.com

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!

We are delighted to be attending the Retail Design Expo for the first time. Despite being newcomers to the show, our heritage stretches back over 40 years – we are the industry’s best kept secret! We are launching our NEW display system at the show Street 76 – a range of display solutions with a retro look and feel.

Committed to working in collaboration with our clients we build long-term meaningful business relationships and value driven partnerships. Providing workable and scalable solutions is our strength and our clients come from all aspects of the retail sector including Fashion, Interior-Design, Electronics, Beauty & Charity Retail also covering e-commerce.

From retail packaging and consumables, to providing turn-key solutions with the supply of shop fittings and project managing the fit-out itself – we pride ourselves in being the single source solution of choice for all things retail. No one in the industry has our knowledge our experience which we love to share with our valued clients, providing truly tailored support. Our broad customer base includes famous high street brands as well as smaller niche and specialist companies. Our insight into the sector means we understand what works best for our clients, enabling them to deliver on their business goals.

Benefits Built In

Street 76

Street 76

With benefits such as free warehousing and free delivery, our holistic approach-solutions lead philosophy is a winning combination with our customers. Innovation is at the very heart of Acopia and our 3D Retail Visual Experience is very much in demand, as well as our much sought after expertise in product development.
Would you like to save 10-15% on your retail consumables? Ask us about our Single Source service and find out more about MyAcopia – our bespoke ordering and stock management portal both for single and multi-branch customers – your answer to delivering cost savings and controlling spend across your business.

If you don’t get a chance to see us at the show, find out more about what we can do for your business by talking to the award winning team at Acopia!

For the most part, an online retailer is able to control their customer’s experience of their brand. They can position and target their image through advertising, social media, the website and customer service – all the usual touch points. However, once the product has left the retailer – the safe delivery is entrusted not only to the shipping agent, but also in the capabilities of your protective packaging.

Delivery can make or break retailers. The wrong agent can result in a poor customer experience that reflects poorly on the retailer. The customer is left asking the question “Why would my favourite shoe shop use such an appalling delivery service? This poor business decision was based purely on cost, rather than fulfilling on their promise to me”.

Meeting Expectations

As ecommerce goes from strength to strength, so does the expectations of online customers. Many years ago, packaging and shipping was just a way of receiving a product purchased online. How that’s all changed! It’s now all part of the shopping experience. With ever increasing competition, retailers and marketeers are looking for ways to packaging to connect with their customers which goes far beyond the simple logistics of on-time delivery in effective yet boring protective packaging. Its has become an opportunity to impress as well as playing a vital role in securing customer loyalty.

Setting Out Your Stall

Packaging and presentation is an effective way to make your deliveries memorable and anticipated. Get this right and your own customers will do your marketing for you! With the power of social media – the new un-boxing phenomena is sweeping You Tube with over 58 million un-boxing videos posted so far. Those personal touches and finishing details can make a lasting impression – and turn you into a You Tube sensation!

If you would like to find out more about secure delivery as well as personalising your packaging and making the most of your brand experience with your customers, talk to the experts at Acopia.

In today’s busy world where advertising permeates in every area of life, customer loyalty can be transient and fleeting. There is always the next big product or seeming innovation – can you hold and secure customer attention? What is the advantage today in a customer sticking with one brand or retailer? Much better to shop around?

Companies invest heavily in marketing and reward schemes to secure that all important customer loyalty, but one powerful weapon in the armory is the power of packaging. Whether it’s etail or retail, packaging can play an integral role in connecting with the customer.

How successful brands use packaging

Many of the most iconic brands understand the power of packaging and how it supports that ‘premium’ message. Apple are famous for their stunning products, encased in equally breath taking packaging. Its synonymous with quality, expertise, innovation and confidence. Amazing Apple packaging is now a customer expectation when purchasing the latest product. Building that kind of customer expectation around your brand takes time and and investment.

Form and Function

Not only does it have to look good – packaging needs to do its job too. Whether it’s being displayed or dispatched, packaging has to protect the product. Poor packaging can dent your brand as well as your products! You also want your customer to find you on the shelf – are you creating ‘brand real estate’ with your product in-store?

Does it support you brand?

Making a personal connection with your customer is key. Whether it is was with branded ribbons or tape or a bespoke luxury bag – it all add up to the brand experience. Think again of the elegant and sophisticated bags that comes with Apple products – they are a pure extension of the brand!

Making it work

With 58.4 million unboxing videos on You Tube – packaging is right up there in the customer’s psyche!  Here are some ideas to create loyalty with packaging:

  1. Reward for re-using – consumers are keen to play there part in recycling and re-purposing and appreciate brands that so the same
  2. Custom Packaging – let consumers choose from packaging options, especially fun if it is a gift
  3. A personalised thank you – this is such a simple and easy thing to do which is such an appreciated added extra

These all play a role in brand adoption and maybe your product will be the next “as seen on You Tube” with a delighted consumer!

How much of a role does colour play your packaging? Is it something you have considered, is it central to your packaging strategy or is it just a nice-to-have or after thought?

Colour can have an important impact on how your product is perceived. Colour can increase brand recognition by 80%. Taking all the following aspects into consideration – Touch and Feel; Hearing and Smell make up 7% of the factors most important to consumers when purchasing a product – with the visual aspect comes in at a whopping 93%.

That small window of opportunity

In just 90 seconds, a person will make a subconscious decision about a person or an environment or situation – it will be the same for your packaging and 62%-90% of that decision will be based on colour alone! 85% of consumers feel that colour is the primary factor when choosing a product. Suddenly – the pantone book takes on much greater importance!

What are the colour signals?

When deciding on your retail packaging it’s important to think about your brand essence and how this is demonstrated through your packaging by colour. Does this use of colour support our brand? Are we saying what we want to to our consumers? Does this fit with our brand image? Is this colour at odds with our product itself?

We take a look at what colours work for specific industry’s and what they say to consumers:

RED – conveys excitement, energy, passion and courage. You’ll find this colour used in the food industry, food and sport. Marketeers would use this colour to convey confidence and energy, attracting shoppers and to highlight critical areas of importance.

ORANGE – it speaks happiness, enthusiasm ans strength. The food and entertainment industry will use this and will be found in children’s products. Marketeers will use orange to communicate fun and playfulness and brighter shades will be found in a Call To Action.

BLUE – it talks trustworthiness, dependability, security and responsibility. You’ll find it used in finance, technology and healthcare. Marketeers know that blue is the most popular choice for brand colour. It’s linked to intellect and is a calming colour.

BLACK – is all about glamour, sophistication and power. You’ll see it used in designer brands, luxury cars and technology. Marketeers will use this to show a brand’s authority, paired with bright colours – it can become more aggressive.

This is just an example of how 4 colours can dramatically change your brand’s message through packaging colour. If you require help with your brand message – feel free to speak to our friendly product development team.

We will ensure your packaging is saying all the right things!



Ultimate Guide To Colour Psychology

To keep bricks and mortar retail relevant today – it requires tenacity and ingenuity as consumers shopping habits change and evolve.

The younger generation might be seeking to spend less time shopping on the high street, choosing to spend their money on enjoying their money on life experiences, travel and easy on-line purchases – so attracting their attention is crucial when it comes to locking them into your brand.

So how to go about it?


1. Become an expert.
There’s nothing more powerful than someone who knows their stuff. Become the resident expert on your subject matter and customers will flock to you for advice. Make your retail environment one that showcases your superior expertise and differentiates you from your competitors. Suddenly, you become a retail destination because shoppers need you.

2. Create an in store experience
Physical retail stores can no longer exist just to display products for sale. Instead, think about the space as a showroom full of experiences that will draw customers in to get to know your brand better. Make them understand your brand better than they’d ever be able to do online.It’s not about selling products, it’s about experiencing the brand. Surround your products in an experience that they’ll remember and share. Do think about every aspect of the product presentation – it’s key in supporting your brand. How your customers engage with your products in your retail space is crucial for your brand theatre.

3. Let etail help your retail.
Gone are the days when brick-and-mortar stores can stand alone. Make sure you have an e-commerce component to your offering, and make sure it lives in harmony with your physical presence. Link the two to get your customers to redeem vouchers from the website instore, for example so each aspect mutually supports itself.

If you would like to know more about making the most of your retail space, why not get in touch with the team at Acopia for an informal chat with our Fit-Out team and find out more about our 3D Design Experience.

Marketeers and product development experts know that innovative packaging has the power to make or break when it comes to standing out from the competition. Products with the right packaging will have more shelf appeal, which is hugely important when it comes to attracting the attention of the consumer in a sea of choices.

Great packaging itself isn’t enough of course – the product needs to be great as well –  but if the packaging is below par, the product will never leave the shelf if the product isn’t eye catching enough.

Packaging goes beyond just aesthetics, too. Packaging is also important because it greatly impacts the consumer’s overall experience with the brand. How? Take for example a box of cookies. If they are packaged in such a way that the cookies end up broken into bits in the box, the consumer is not likely to buy the product again. On the other hand, if the product is packaged in a way that protects the cookies and keeps them intact, the consumer will be much more likely to choose that brand over others in the future.

Packaging that is also user friendly is going to stand head and shoulders above the competition, too. When it comes to food products, for example, packaging that is easy to open and easy to close/reseal will be very appealing to most consumers. Packing that is easy for the average homeowner to store will be appealing, too, as it does not present a problem that needs to be solved. Awkwardly shaped packaging requires either to be stored in an unconventional way or that the product was taken out of the packaging in order to be stored and will put most customers off the purchase.

A positive overall experience is absolutely imperative to achieving repeat purchasing habits and, as a result, brand loyalty. It’s important that companies continually take stock of their potential customers’needs and wants, and develop not only products, but also packaging, to meet those needs. If they can be successful in doing that, companies will create a loyal customer base, which is the key to the success of any business that creates consumer products.

Acopia can provide complete product solutions that work with your brand to make the most of your product. Call us for a friendly chat and find out what we could do for your product sales.

Packaging is often described as ‘the silent salesman’, creating subconscious connections with consumers at the crucial time of purchase. Visual performance in increasingly crowded markets has become vital as brands compete for attention. New brands are able to take advantage of and harness latest design trends which can have immediate impact, whilst older brands continue to fight for market space and continued relevance.

The power of packaging should never be understated and really should be seen as an extension of the brand, with equal importance as given to marketing, promotion and product development. Tapping into target audiences on that subconscious level creates a bond between product and purchaser. Allowing your brand to ‘speak’ to your audience is the key and understanding why people love your product will make that emotional connection easier to define.

What’s your brand ‘temperature’?
Defining your brand’s emotions can be difficult and understanding how your ‘Product Package’ is perceived is crucial. What does this say about our brand is key in the brand’s re-alignment or evolution – depending on the circumstances. User experience will reveal the true value of your brand and whether it continues to resonate, engage and excite. Does the packaging elicit the emotional response that was expected? If not – how can the brand package be re-aligned?

Why Packaging Should Be Top Of Your Agenda

Getting the packaging right for the product, for the target audience, for the best chance of longevity for a brand. The packaging is often the first thing that the potential purchaser sees once your product is in their hands. It sets the tone, it tells the story, it projects expectations, it fulfills the brand promise. There are no short cuts to achieving this unwritten dialogue with your customer. Working with brand and packaging experts can create memorable customer experiences and achieve that emotional dialogue and connection with your customer.

Why not have a chat with our product development team at Acopia and discuss your vision for your packaging and your brand – 0845 075 6111.


Supporting information from Packaging Europe

Retail has always been a challenging business. Today, more than ever consumers want the latest and best products at the best price, matched with quality service and a quick response when they want more information. The customer is very much in control and aware of their various buying options and now have the tools to shop around and get those great deals. New apps and online stores make it easy to comparison shop on-demand.

As consumer expectations grow, retailers are playing catch-up trying to deliver that personal shopping experience. Consequently, retailers are turning to technology to customise their marketing’ looking at buying behaviour and trends and deliver relevant content. This is all based on data capture – knowing as much about your customers as possible. By collecting data at every brand touch-point, retailers are better equipped to anticipate future purchases. This could take the shape of reminding an online shopper of a pair of shoes they were considering, to relevant vouchers given at the till after payment that relates to their weekly grocery shop, encouraging the next in-store visit. These ‘hand-picked’ voucher offers shows the customer that the retailer is paying attention and keen to offer them money off of reward points for future purchasers – they key thing, it’s completely relevant to their individual purchases.

Another way to personalise the in-store experience is through beacons. Beacons can be used to improve customer service, enhance the benefits of loyalty programs and increase revenue through targeted marketing. It can also target known customers and convert passers-by to visitors. Beacons allow retailers to:

Strengthen customer loyalty: Once a beacon detects that a customer has entered a store, a retailer can retrieve information from a loyalty program database and details of previous purchases. Information from such databases can be used as a customer travels to different parts of a store. For example, if the customer has made multiple purchases in the electronics section over the past year, the store could push notices about today’s electronics specials to his or her mobile phone.

Increase revenue through customized and targeted marketing messages: A retailer could send personalised offers as a customer roams around their store. If the customer lingers near a particular merchandise display, a reminder that the items in that section are on sale could be delivered instantly to his or her mobile phone.

In today’s fast paced, on-demand world of retail – the personal touch is the one thing that stands out. From the online customer who is served content that anticipates their next purchase, to harnessing power instore and encouraging passers by to step inside – technology is here to stay and can only evolve.

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

The way we buy things is changing. The increasing trend of online shopping has altered the retail landscape forever. Many retailers are looking for ways to continue to engage with their customers in their bricks and mortar set-ups  (local store offers, click and collect facilities) whilst supporting the convenience of internet shopping with their online counterpart. The multi-channel approach is now a must.

Whether customers elect to shop online and collect in store of have their purchases delivered home, there is one thing they will have in common -packaging! As always, packaging’s most important role is protection. However, packaging performs lots of other roles including carrying information, marketing the product, enabling handling, storage and use of goods. Consumers assume that goods and food will reach them undamaged and in perfect condition. The fact that packaging has helped ensure this is not always obvious. Consumers only tend to notice protective packaging once something has gone wrong!
Effective packaging = Environmental Sustainability

Companies that continually monitor their use of packaging can achieve savings, make supply chains more sustainable and reduce environmental impacts. Companies that can demonstrate attention to environmental factors with their customers will stand them in good stead as recycling and responsible use of resources is very much in sharp focus. There are many things that can be easily implemented that can have an immediate impact on cost and benefits to the environment.

– Can the retail pack be simplified for home delivery?
– Are there alternative delivery systems or packaging options that reduce impacts and costs?
– Is there a place of re-usable packaging
– Can the outer dimensions be improved to improve pallet fill?
– Are the materials being used certified as ‘sustainable’
– Is the packaging designed according to good practice for recycling?

Reassessing your current processes and practices or asking an industry expert for a packaging review can pay dividends. At Acopia, we can provide a complete assessment of your supply chain to understand where cost savings and efficiencies can be made.

Speak to the team today and request your FREE packaging review.

The emotional response triggered to seeing clever, innovative or simply gorgeous packaging can sometimes far transcend the product itself. A great product and stunning packaging is certainly a winning combination.  Consumers can be happy to pay a premium price for a product – and how do they know they are looking at a quality product? The answer is in the packaging!

The arrival of a new Apple purchase would not be the same if it were not for the incredibly tactile packaging that projects the message “I am innovation – I am ahead of the curve. Always” – all that from a box? Remarkable! It’s what we have grown to expect from Apple and is synonymous with the brand itself.  Above all else, the brand demands trust and we offering it willingly.

A recent research study done at Cornell focused on the way consumers connected to simple products on a shelf at the supermarket. In this instance the product was cereal boxes and it became clear that when the characters on the packaging were drawn in a way to appear to make eye contact with consumers – this created a ‘connection’. When both character design and shelf positioning align correctly, consumers are found to feel dramatically greater amounts of trust in the brand. So in this case, product placement was also a key part of the buying process. Competition is tough in supermarkets for the hallowed “eye level – buy level” in-store. So if a powerful connection can be made in this way, what could custom packaging do for products?

Connect with your customer base with custom packaging

Packaging can become another medium to exploit to engage with your customers. This example of branded tape takes a mundane packaging item and turns it into something enchanting.

Innocent Drinks have been starting conversations with their customers since the brand was born. Witty copy combined with superb design can engage and keep your customer base talking.

Gift Shop Silver In The City uses packaging to speak volumes to it customers with great copy and fabulous typography.

The moral of the story – your packaging is another channel to engage with your customers who will anticipate the next conversation.

Want to try something different – talk to the team at Acopia and see how we can help you use innovative packaging to engage with your customers.



Most shoppers welcome variety on the high street, where small independent shops can be found next door to national chains. Shoppers need to vote with their feet and visit these smaller jewels on the high street to keep them there and these smaller shops need to provide an entirely different brand experience and truly understand their customer base.

There are many ways the smaller ’boutique’ stores can compete with their national brand neighbours and customer service as right at the top of the list – and guess what? This costs nothing! Smaller stores can really stand out with individual customer care and relationship building  – the essence of which may be lost in larger stores. According to Professor Heiner Evanschitzky stated “Independent shops won’t be able to compete on price, but they can specialise in great advice”
Picking the right stock – and that’s all about knowing your customer base, is another crucial factor in competing and finding a niche. Stocking products that can not be found in the larger stores, such as unusual up-and-coming brands and limited edition lines on better known brands can make a tantalizing mix if you get it right.

Other areas to invest in are the look, sound, feel and even the smell of your retail space all project the clientele you are reaching out to. Finding that niche through the design of your store, the layout, the decor, the shop fittings, the lighting are all key in attracting your client base. There are now specialist companies that can give your store a ‘branded’ fragrance – a signature aroma if you like. That’s how important all these little details are in creating stand-out on the high street.

To take the hard work out of achieving a new look and feel of your store, specialists can re-design your retail space to not only provide a unique feel but to make the most of your products, creating areas of focus through clever displays and lighting.

At Acopia, we provide a complete turn-key solution from initial 3D CAD drawings, to the supply and installation of the shop fittings, to completely project managing the installation. If you would like to know more and understand how your brand can flourish and see Return On Investment – get in touch with our Fit-Out Team for more details 0845 07 6111

If you’re starting a new ecommerce business, packaging needs to be seen as an extension of the product you are selling. The process of simply delivering the product to the customer is not really enough anymore. At this time of intense competition and high customer expectation – businesses are striving to find new ways to stand out from the crowd and satisfy demanding end users.
Packaging has now become an integral part of the whole purchasing experience, and getting it right can be harder than it sounds.

Are you meeting your customers’ packaging expectations?
With ecommerce, there is no physical ‘shop’ in which customers can browse and pick their goods.In fact, their first physical interaction they will have with your company is when they receive the products. The packaging is the first thing your customers will see and touch – so first impressions count!
Your aim is to give your customers an enjoyable and memorable ‘unboxing experience’. This cannot be achieved by shipping goods in plain containers and drab boxes. It is crucial to put some creative thought into how the goods are sent out – even just a little splash of colour can go a long way.

Are you choosing the right kind of packaging for your products?
While presentation is essential-the goods need to arrive in the condition intended.Choosing the right type of packaging for the items you are sending to your customers is critical. Bubble wrap, for example, is ideal for fragile items such as glass, whereas shrink wrap can be used on CDs and DVDs. Wrappable packaging is also used when vacuum-packing goods. Depending on your product – postal boxes and tubes can also provide superb protective solutions.

Can the customer easily return items?
Returnable packaging can be adapted to include tear strips and adhesive strips to enable customers to return unwanted items. When the goods are received by the customer, the box is opened using the tear strip. If the customer wishes to return the goods, the adhesive strip (underneath the tear strip) can be used for repackaging. Making items easier to return and having a hassle-free returns solution keeps customers ordering!

For help in getting your packaging right and keeping things simple for your customer, talk to the team at Acopia who can help improve your processes and save you valuable time and money.


Loved by consumers as well as industry – the humble cardboard box still delivers! British online shoppers have a continuing love affair with cardboard and prefer to see their purchases being delivered in the much favoured corrugated cardboard box rather than polystyrene. Why? It is believed that cardboard offers better protection and is the easiest material to recycle according to research by the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI).

Corrugated packaging is certainly going through something of a renascence with new data showing it to be the material of choice for food packaging on both a hygiene and protection level and the confirmation that it continues to deliver in cost, flexibility and recycling.
Corrugated cardboard is the packing material of choice for many brands and industries. Its high-tech construction ensures the material can carry a wide range of weights, protects against moisture and provides sustainable packaging solutions. Furthermore, corrugated cardboard is highly customizable and very cost-effective. As well as being flame resistant, it makes a great surface for bespoke printing.

In a recent survey, out of 2030 respondents, 40% thought that cardboard offered the best solution for their purchases to reach them in pristine condition. A whopping 85% of respondents also confirmed that agreed that cardboard was by far the easiest to recycle.

CPI’s Director Of Packaging Affairs Andy Barnetson stated “This latest survey indicating that consumers rate cardboard as the best protection for goods in transit is a really good result for the Corrugated Industry.  It’s another poll that suggests cardboard packaging improves customer satisfaction with their purchases. I’m not surprised at the level of consumer support for ease of recycling. Awareness of the benefits of recycling cardboard is generally on the increase”

Consumers are demanding more from their online purchases, it not just about the product – it’s also about what the product arrives in. At Acopia, we specialise in ensuring packaging works for the consumer as well as the bottom line. Talk to us today for an informal chat to find out more about what we can do for your business.

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.




Thinking about transforming your retail space can be a daunting task. There is so much to consider from understanding what isn’t working now and how to work towards resolution – logistics, designers, contractors are just a few for the list.

Fears of lost revenue during the work as well as the concern of not getting exactly what you wanted can all add to the stress and may even derail your best intentions of improving your customer experience.


Return On Investment

How will you know if it has all been a success? To understand success is to understand your position now and your current revenues. You can expect to receive at least a 10% return on investment after your renovation.

In the new online world of shopping, where retail is finding strength over retail bricks and motar, differentiation on the high street is key. This is not just about product range – it’s a holistic approach to your space as a ‘concept’ to deliver a unique customer experience. Those retailers who choose to engage a  space designer could expect to see a return on investment of 22% – transforming the bottom line as well as the space!

Brand Theatre

Engaging the senses to create a unique customer space for your brand is essential. Rcent studies have shown that atmospherics are perhaps the most single most important environmental factor that converts into purchases.

So what works best? There is no one size fits all solution here – it depends on your target audience, but the use of colour, lighting, music and even smell can have a profound effect on customers.

Embrace new technology in-store

In a report from Merchant Warehouse, it showed that close to 70% of customers research their chosen items online before visiting the store. Google also found that 84% of smartphone shoppers use their devices to help them shop once they are in the store.

A recent introduction to the high street in the US has seen bridal boutiques using a ‘virtual’ fitting room to cut down the time and hassle of trying on endless numbers of wedding dresses to narrow down favourites. This speeds up the whole process and reduces queues as well as allowing many more ‘fittings’ a day for the store.

To get the most out of your renovation and receive the maxiumum return on investment – it pays to use professionals to turn your vision into reality. At Acopia, we offer a complete end to end solution from initial space design, complete project management, as well supply of all shop fittings and install. We know downtime is not good for business so we work hard to ensure you are up and running as quickly as posible.

Contact the team at Acopia and see what we could do for your retail space.





With the days getting slightly longer and the temperatures just a bit warmer, gardeners the length and breadth of the UK will be itching to get to their local nurseries in the hope of injecting some much needed colour in then garden. With the welcome sight of bulbs just starting to appear, it is the signal for many to  plan the garden for the year ahead.

With Spring approaching, it is the perfect time to take stock before the excited rush of shoppers arrive. We have an extensive range of equipment and accessories to not only help you look after your stock, but to help look after your customers too!



Taking care of your stock well is so important. Choose from a range of sprinkler systems, hose pipe accesories and telescopic lances to help keep your showcase hanging basket displays looking fabulous as well as items such as capilliary matting – making it easy to take care of your precious plants. We also supply tree and rose ties, windbreaks, and frost protection fleeces to highlight just a few products from our plant protection range.

Plant labelling is another area we really excel at for both indoor and outdoor use. Plant descriptions are an important part of customer reassurance that this is the right purchase for them. We provide telescopic label holders providing flexibility at many display levels. We hold bed card holders which again can be used for floor or bench mounting, card holders, sign holders and ticket displays and we can brand these too for that perfect finishing touch! Our range of tray and loop lock lables will work with a variety of printers. Our range is vast to suit all your requirements.





Looking After Your Customers

A lovely way to extend your brand into the home is through really handy items to make taking plants home easier. We stock fold over carry home trays that assemble in seconds and is one of our best sellers. Our boot liners and plant sleeves are always popular and again, just like the carry home tray, they can all be branded with your logo and details. Another way to strengthen your brand and keep you front of mind are the ever popular jute bags. With an average use of over 500 times – your brand will be seen by hundreds of local people – it’s a great way to promote your business.

If you require any accesories to get Spring 2107 on track for you and your business – please give the team a call and find out more about what we can do in support.



Do you have a clear direction and focus for 2017 on how to keep your brand relevant, keeping existing customers and winning new ones?

What’s your strategy in making your retail space more exciting, unexpected and enticing? Some retailers encourage customers into their stores by offering the opportunity for them to experience new products and a wider selection. Sainsbury’s Nine Elms store has a mini Habitat concession, Macy’s new store has revamped its cosmetics department and now provides beauty services, and Amazon may be looking to open pop-up stores in the UK as an extension to their US strategy. Return per square foot continues to be the benchmark for space productivity and a partner with a complementary product or service can also help boost this margin. Retailers will continue to experiment and learn from these advances, choose partners where appropriate in order to improve the return on their space. The name of the game this year is certainly to try new things, invest in new ventures in order to keep moving and ahead and predicting customer trends.

Innovate to Resonate

Not every retail space has the opportunity to include mini conessions, add new services or completely change product lines. One thing you can have complete control over is your ‘brand theatre’ and how you project the essence of your brand in-store.

Dramatic lighting can play a huge role in attracting and enagaging customers. The Amercian clothing fashion chain Hollister is famous for its in-store lighting as this is a natural extension of their brand. Their target audience is 14-18 year olds and the aim is to recreate a ‘club-like enviroment’. Whilst parents are bemused with the dimly lit conditions, their children are in their element!

Hollister setting the mood in-store

Ring in the Changes

Enhancing your in-store environment, maintaining a contemporary look and remaining relevant will be key in 2017. Look at your lighting – could this work harder for you – setting the scene for a more relaxed buying environment for your retail space? Are your mannequins old fashioned? Are they putting people off coming in? Have your display stands seen better days? Are your display areas adaptable and portable allowing you to give the impression of change in-store? Have you considered your customer flow and does your store layout optimise every opportunity?

If all this sounds overwhelming, help is at hand! Acopia are experts in Space Planning, Project Management, Shop Fittings and Fit-Out. We have an incredible team who work with you every step of the way to achieve your vision. Let us help you transform your retail space and help create your very own ‘brand theatre’!

Call the team on 0845 075 6111 and find out more about our services.

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.

When deciding upon the best protective packaging to suit your products, many factors need to be taken into consideration. Damage analysis is key to driving this decision – it’s not just about cost. Buying the cheapest solution can send costs rocketing elsewhere in the business, creating a costly false economy.

With a vast range of protective packaging now available such as air pillows, paper void and bubble wrap, procurement decisions can be purely based on lowest bought in costs without consideration of the possible monitary impact when something goes wrong.

Research showed that when an e-commerce retailer reviewed their secondary packaging with a view to reducing dimensional weight charges, this left them vulnerable to increased costs and more importantly reputational damage too. During this process, it was discovered that when they experienced damage through these cost cutting measures, it cost the company more than £240 each time it happened. This included the cost to replace the product, customer service support time, warehouse time to process the return and pick the replacement product and then the costs associated with dispatching the new product itself (packaging supplies and postage).

Reputation, reputation, reputation

The costs we have examined are the tangible costs in putting things right for a customer. However, there is much more at stake, the damage to the company’s reputation. Research shows that a massive 73% of consumers who receive a damaged shipment are unlikely to order from the same retailer again. This in effect becomes a lost customer and not only that, with the ever growing strength in social media ‘reviews’, this also becomes a huge PR headache on damage limitation.

Suddenly the few pounds saved on initial outlay on materials seems to pale into insignificance.

Streamlining and making processes efficient in all aspects is a must, but making the right choices is also needed when getting the balance right between cost savings and happy customers.

At Acopia, we pride ourselves when it comes to working with our clients to provide help, support and advice in making the right decisions. For a free protection packaging consultation – call the team now on 0845 075 6111, we would be delighted to assist.


Click here for more on the research from Modern Materials Handling

When it comes to making a big splash – nothing works better than fancy gift bags and gorgeous tissue papers when making that special purchase. That little added touch of luxury when a customer has bought a treat for themselves, or a gift for a friend or relative, all adds to the occasion of purchasing, giving and receiving – and who doesn’t appreciate a gift presented in lovely packaging adorned with ribbons and bows!

It’s also a great opportunity for the savvy retailer to make the most of their brand.

Does Your Brand Stand Out In The Crowd?

With competition on the high street as tough as ever, creating stand out for your brand has become key. Acopia have responded by creating a dedicated division offering quality presentation and retail packaging. We can elevate your brand through quality retail bags, bespoke point of sale gift wrapping and luxury packaging to really engage with your consumers and provide a purchase experience that they will remember.

Luxury Retail Bags

We can help you create your own range of luxury retail bags from a wide range of special papers and finishes. Choose from gloss or matt laminates, spot UV printing or hot-foil stamping, your customer will be delighted to use your branded bag again and again.

Retail consumables

Retail consumables


Tailor made Packaging

You can create just the right impression by presenting your products in stylishly designed, magnetic sealed or pop-up boxes. Easily and quickly assembled in to a gift box (flat-packed for economical storage). Produced with your print design, and in a range of finishes and papers, to turn your product in to a gift to excite.

Ribbons and Tissues

For that lovely finishing touch, nothing brings that personal touch more persuasively than beautiful gift wrapping. Choose ribbons from silk, satin, cotton, gros-grain and organza.

Why not truly personalize your ribbon by having your company name, logo or even a message,
printed on it – for a perfect finish. The same can be added to Acopia’s wide variety of coloured tissue paper (any size or finish) for that extra personal touch.

Ask The Team

Our team are dedicated to you every step of the way, from the very start of the creative process. From fully printed samples through to production and final delivery, we will manage things entirely right to the finish. Our bespoke service ensures you receive your packaging just the way you want it, on the very day you want it.

Elevate your brand, delight your customers – turn heads on the high street!



January traditionally sees the highest amount of consumer returns following Christmas with an estimated 31% of us returning items bought on line. ‘Take-back Tuesday’ after the Christmas break was expected to see a jump of over 50% of parcels at Post Offices as the rise of internet shopping transforms not only the way we buy our Christmas presents but how we dispose of or exchange any unwanted gifts afterwards.

Instead of the usual queues at the Customer Returns desks in store – customers are increasingly preferring to send the goods back by post. Customers using the Tracked Returns service simply select the name of the retailer or supplier from a list of more than 1,000 brands on the Royal Mail website, print off a label and deposit the parcel at a Post Office. So much less arduous than fighting the crowds at the bricks and mortor counterpart.

So with this change in shopping habits, it’s important your packaging can stand up to the rigours of going through the postal system a second time, labelled and clearly addressed – ensuring you get your products back in great condition and available for re-selling. 64% of customers will give referrals to friends after a free or easy returns policy, including the ease in which to physically ‘repackage’ the goods so it’s a really important part of your ‘after care’.

Returns Checklist

Key things to implement so you can keeping your customers happy and your goods in perfect condition:

1. Does your pack include clear returns instructions for the consumer? Have you supplied returns labels? Many retailers neglect this very important part of customer service.

2. To make it easier for your customer, can the original pack be re-used to send your product back? The great advantages here are many – if designed correctly your product is returned safely and you are doing your bit for the environment which will be a big hit for your customers. Not only does this save them trying to find an alternative source of packaging, they are much more likely to order from you again as they gain confidence in a hassle free returns process.

3. Providing access to real-time tracking is a real plus for consumers who are worried that expensive goods may go missing in the system.

At Acopia, we have over 40 years of experience in packaging and offer bespoke returns solutions for your specific product.

Give the team a call to discuss your requirements – we would be delighted to share our expertise.


Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) occurs when a simple movement is repeated again and again. Usually this is associated with work but can also affect those with hobbies or who play sports.

RSI is a very painful problem and is often difficult to treat adaquatley, expecially if the problem is caused by a work based activity. RSI usually involves the upper limbs – affecting the muscles, soft tissue and tendons. It differs from a sudden injury because it is caused by long-term strain on the muscles and that means it can cause problems for much longer.

Typical symptoms includes pain and numbness, tingling, coldness and loss of feeling – not ideal in a busy working environment such as a warehouse or packing line.

RSI costs employers almost £300 million per year in lost working time, sick pay and administration with each person taking on average 13 days off sick, resulting in over 4.7 million working days lost a year* – however RSI is usually preventable with simple measures.

Employers can make a big difference to the health of their workers while at the same time improving the productivity and profits of their business. At Acopia, we are delighted to announce an innovation for packing lines and packaging departments – a revolution in the form of ZEROTAPE, a new Packaging Tape System that was designed specifically with the user in mind.

Less Operator Strain with ZEROTAPE!

The position of the handle has been engineered to decrease the strain to the wrist. Strategically placed, the handle minimises the wrist movement and creates an all round comfortable procedure, which will help strain relief, bringing comfort for long term use and creating health benefits.

Another great feature on the handle is the ventilation holes, which decreases the amount of sweat produced – promoting less tension to the hand with less product slippage.

One of the breakthrough moments for ZEROTAPE was understanding the relationship between the core of the device and the handle. The weight distribution for the user was changed, therefore if you are using ZEROTAPE on a day to day basis the strain on the wrist is decreased vastly.

In addition to this is the added benefit that each roll is length is 160 meters – nearly 100 meters longer than standard tape lengths. This all adds up to fewer roll changes resulting in more boxes being packed each with with less operator strain!

Get you hands on ZEROTAPE with our fantastic introductory offer!

We are sure the many benefits of using ZEROTAPE are very clear and we would like to fast track your company to reduced costs, increased productivity and a happier workforce.

We are delighted to bring you a great deal on your first order of 3 cases of ZEROTAPE by including a FREE dispenser worth £22.75!

To find out more and to get your hands on a FREE dispenser – call the team now on 0845 075 6111

ZEROTAPE – changing the world of packaging.


For more on RSI and employer’s responsibilities:

*Chartered Society of Physiotherapy see sharp rise in RSI rates

*RSI Forced me to change occupation

It was 1924 when the very first adhesive tape was invented, followed 8 years later by the first counter top tape dispenser. It was a hefty 7 pounds in weight and 10 years later, the first hand held dispenser became available.

Though the adhesive tape itself has seen many changes in terms of size, materials and finishes, the dispenser itself has seen far fewer modifications, with the design and mechanism remaining much the same – until now that is!

Nearly 80 years on, the tape dispenser has been redefined and reimagined for the 21st Century – with the comfort and welfare of the user key to the design, as well as a focus on delivering tangible cost savings.

ZEROTAPE was born!

Marginal Gains

Sir Bradley Wiggins became the first ever British cyclist to claim the coveted Maillot Jaune.

Now here is where the inspiration comes in. His success was reportedly down to the team’s application of the theory of aggregation of marginal gains. Team Sky performance director explains it passionately as “the 1% margin for improvement in everything you do”.

The belief was that if you improved every area related to cycling by just 1% then those small gains would add up to a remarkable improvement. He was right and the subsequent success proved the theory.

The product designers at ZEROTAPE looked at where they could make those marginal gains, modifying form and function to deliver:

Improved operator comfort
Increased system performance
Reduction in weight
Reduction in noise
Optimisation of the interface between tape and cardboard box

The ZEROTAPE packing system offers a host of benefits compared to traditional tapes and dispensers:


The handle is strategically positioned to minimize strain on the wrist. It is also much lighter and therefore easier to handle, reducing the risk of RSI.

Clickable Loading

No down time trying to figure out which way to fit the tape; the roll reassuringly clicks into place when loaded correctly, eliminating entry failure and saving time.


Longer rolls at 160 metres, approximatley over 100 metres longer than standard rolls, as well as being lighter and stronger.

Increased Productivity

With fewer roll changes and longer tape length – this all adds up to more boxes being packed each day. This results in year on year increased production capacity.

Take a look at this quick video to understand more about this exciting new concept:



If you would like to know more about what ZEROTAPE could do for your business, please contact the team at Acopia on 0845 075 6111 – we would love to let you know about this unique product.

Start a packing revolution in your warehouse!




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.



You may not associate Acopia with Shop fittings and Fit Out, but this is an area we have considerable expertise. It’s wonderful to be able to support and work with our clients in these transformational projects and to see the difference it brings to the store and resulting sales.

Listening to our client is so important in understanding their vision for the shop or store – and often these will be multi-branch. We then take this vison and turn this into a 3D reality, encompassing all that the client needs as well as bringing our years of expertise on the best use of space, key feature areas and the best way to maximise sales.

The customer flow is so important and we assess what will work in the space, creating the correct ambience for the shop to encourage those extra sales from casual browsing. Our collaborative approach delivers sucess time after time.

This is what a typical 3D CAD drawing looks like.  We we completed this recently for a client of ours. This is how we approach the space, recreating the environment to best layout the store taking everything like lighting, utillities and storage into consideration.



Once the client is happy with their new store – the build then commences! We can project manage the whole process from liasing with all the utilities and staff involved with the re-fit, to supplying the actual shop fittings to installing them too.

Managing the whole process for our clients ensures we are able to co-ordinate all aspects of the shop fit and deliver the project on time. We supply all the materials and services including floors and ceilings, decorating, signage and accessories, electrical and plumbing work.

The end result and opening day is always a fantastic occasion and we always receive incredible feedback from our clients on the difference we have made to their business.


If you feel it’s time for a makeover – please do get in touch with the team on 0845 075 6111.

As high street retailers begin to report on their post Christmas sales, it certainly seems that the festive season bought no holiday cheer. Big brands such as Next, Primark, Debenhams and Marks & Spencer have all reported losses. Consumers decided to change their purchase habits and preferred to stay at home and shop online instead with the high street suffering its quietest December since 1998.

With the rise of Black Friday in UK culture now, this has further disrupted the traditional Christmas high street environment with savvy consumers using this opporunity to purchase at a guaranteed bargain. Online retailers with no overheads can use this time to market aggressively, further compounding the problems on the high street.

With high street retailers not being able to compete on price, the customer experience in-store has become critical. This is something online retailers can not match and creating a positive and welcoming environment is key. Customer service is an area that bricks and motar shops can really excel in. That personal touch can not be recreated online – it’s a winner and keeps customers coming back.

Making the shopping environment itself is what customers enjoy and making this as special as possible is key. The look, feel and layout plays a huge role in the decision making process as to whether to shop online or visit the high street. Making the most of products, attractive displays and efficient layouts can make all the difference.

Creating standout on the high street has never been more important. Working with and making the most of space is critical. Creating areas of product focus to highlight key stock for browsing customers is a great way to encourage unplanned purchases.

Its always a good idea to work with a company who specialise in creating bespoke shopping environments. At Acopia, we have many years of experience working with and supporting outlets on the high street. We listen to the customer needs and requirements and we then create bespoke 3D CAD drawings so the customer can see their newly designed store before the build. Our clients love this approach as it is often hard to visualise the end result. We look at the space and consider customer flow, this is so important as it influences customer behaviour and ultimately more sales. We can choose the best spots to place merchandise and work towards creating the right ambiance. We also project manage the complete transformation and co-ordinate all the utilities, as well as supplying all the shop fittings.

If you would like to know more about our shopfittings and fit-out services – call the team on 0845 075 6111 to find out how we can make more of your business.


2017 is being predicted to be the year to see the biggest shift away from the high street so far. We saw this in post Christmas sales with empty high streets but on-line retailers were busier than ever.

With some on-line giants now offering same day delivery, the high street is losing some of its appeal. The convienence of shopping at home and being able to effortlessly compare products and prices has become the new shopping habit.

2016 saw on-line sales in retail of over £91 billion and 30% of all shopping in the UK is now done via e-commerce. The way we shop and access products has changed forever and retailers have a challenge on their hands to meet and exceed customer expectations to match their bricks and mortar counterparts.

The 2016 Deloitte Retail Sales Survey found that 71% of consumers stated that free shipping was a distinct advantage when purchasing on-line. The final delivery is of huge importance to the savvy shopper – they want their products delivered on-time and undamaged. Retailers need to balance efficient deliveries to streamline costs and overheads as well as retaining customers with products arriving in pristine condition.

Getting this wrong can be costly. The power of social media and user experience of brands and products can make or break. Consumers are much less influenced by paid media, preferring to listen to peers and associates. This social influence is the new mechanism for product and brand review. The new camera for a birthday present arriving damaged is a headache and a disapointment for the consumer and could potentially stop a future sale. Poor protective packaging reflects badly on the retailer as it is seen by the consumer as lacking in care and attention to detail.

Working with a packaging partner who can assess individual packaging needs can ensure you are cost efficient and using the right packaging for the right products, supporting a great consumer experience and future sales.

Why not speak to our team about a product packaging review and let us work with you to ensure you are cost effective as well as ticking all the right boxes with your customers!

Creating innovative ways to display product in-store to generate areas of interest and focus for shopping customers is a real challenge for many retail outlets. Space is often an issue so displaying product effectively to encourage and increase purchasing is an absolute requirement.

The customer experience must always be at the forefront of all decison making, creating the illusion of space where it is limited, planning the natural flow through the shop to encourage customers to explore and lighting options to enhance the environment are just some of the considerations that will produce great returns of investment. Getting these right and more will encourage a high number of repeat visitors that will become your regular shoppers as they enjoy visiting your outlet.

We have a collaborative approach and a range of display solutions that create the perfect environment to support optimal sales.

Functional, modern and flexible product display

At Acopia – we have many display solutions and the Elite range is one of our most popular. An extremely versatile option which can be used for general display, books and shoes. With reinforced shelves for heavy items and a sloping shelf to display shoes, it really is adaptable and looks great as well.


No screws are required to assemble this stand and the look can be completely altered to suit your requirements and environment.

3D Retail Experience

Acopia prides itself at being at the forefront when it comes to providing support, advice and materials for your shop-fit. We can project manage the whole process for you, from concept stage, to designing your store layout, supplying all the materials and project managing the actual fit-out.

We work with you right from the start to bring your ideas and plans to life. We take your vision and turn it into reality before a single pot of paint has been opened. We pride ourselves at being at the cutting edge in the industry by being able to present you with 3D drawings of your finished shop!

Talk to the team on 0845 075 6111 to find out more about our full service.

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

Ever since the introduction of the simple carrier bag in retail, the huge opportunity for branding and advertising has been exploited by savvy marketeers.

Getting your brand in front of your target audience is the number one priority for your business and looking for ways that provide longevity for your investment is key. Today, custom bags still present great value for money, turning your loyal customers into mobile advertising hoardings!

Give your brand staying power

Research has shown that a printed packaging bag can have far greater brand penetration than a 2 minute television advertisement. Once the advertisement has ceased airing, the power of branded bag and associated good customer experience with their purchase, remains with the consumer far longer than the advertisement. Everytime the consumer re-uses the bag, they are reminded of the quality of the product.

Your brand ambassadors

Your loyal customers do so much more than spread the word about your brand up and down the high street on a busy shopping day, they actually become your brand and product ambassadors. They associate themselves with your brand values and the quality of your products and are proud to be seen having made a purchase with you and this in turn is transferred to their peer group in the shape of your latest printed carrier. All this from the humble carrier bag!

Retail packaging today has become so creative in terms of design and materials, consumers love quality styling and imaginative design packs a punch. It’s your chance to make an impact and create an instantly recognisable statement on the high street and elsewhere. With Christmas round the corner, it’s a great opportunity to produce festive alternatives to your existing bags.

Strengthen Your Brand With Acopia

To make your brand work harder and reach more of your target audience – talk to Acopia about producing beautiful bespoke printed carriers that your customers will be proud to be seen with.

About the picture:
Acopia client Montezuma’s one colour printed bag, printed onto kraft paper with white twisted handle – photographed by Jonathan Fridlington Photography

Whether you are dispatching the latest smart phone to your customers, distributing camera lenses to your retail outlets or sending replacement aviation parts to your logistics team – on the face of it they have nothing in common, in fact they do. They are high value items as well as being incredibly fragile and sensitive to compression, drop, vibration and shock.

So does your protective packaging pass your supply chain test or do you need something a little bit more specialist?
There is an innovative range of protective packaging available specifically designed with these high value items in mind. The JoeyPack range is the truly flexible solution which you can trust to keep your goods safe through the rigors of delivery.

Thoroughly tested and receiving resounding success in the Europe, Acopia are thrilled to be able to offer this in the UK. With 5 packaging innovations in the range – there is Joey Pack solution just perfect for your needs.

The beauty of the range is that the packaging is both the internal protection as well as the shipping box – created after simple assembly. This delivers savings across a whole range of your overheads – transport, storage, productivity and time savings, additional protective packaging, the list goes on.

The range includes retention packaging with crash lock bases and quick fastening that avoids gluing and adapts perfectly around product.
Stretch packaging creates compartments where manuals, remote controls or cabling can be held securely along with the product. This can fit a wide range of components and the stretch film protects corrosion sensitive products.



The Swift solution is the all in one retention packaging which packs around your product in 6 easy steps and is ready to ship in 10 seconds. It also has its own integral sealing and can even be recycled by the recipient!


The Sling is the suspension packaging answer for heavy goods up to 35kg. Assembled in 4 easy steps and the product is securely ‘clamped’ in place and surrounded by a protective stretch film.



The Safe option offers extraordinary protection against shock and vibrations. 6 easy steps and fragile circuit boards and electronics are protected in this lightweight and robust solution.



The Special offers complete protection for laptops, plasma and LCD screens and panels, up to 50kg in weight. Drop tested to UPS standards, the Special offers incredible protection as well as reducing costs on storing and shipment.


Why not talk to us at Acopia about selecting the best packaging solutions from the innovative Joey range for your products so you can enjoy cost reductions and peace of mind too.

The Acopia website is now LIVE!

Following our recent re-brand, we are delighted to announce that our new website is now live. It’s your chance to discover more about Acopia and our full range of services.

You may know us already for our protective packaging or for our retail consumables – in fact we offer so much more.

There’s more in store at Acopia!

No one in the industry has our experience or knowledge gained over 40 years with working with our clients on bespoke business solutions. We operate in a diverse range of sectors, servicing industry from Aviation to Healthcare to Sports & Leisure.

Service Driven

From looking after your warehousing and storage needs, to working with you on bespoke product development – our team of experts are on hand to ensure you get the very best out of your partnership with Acopia. Our specialist sales support team are your first port of call with non-stock items and special requirements.

3D Retail – Shop Fit and Fit Out

We specialise in innovative ways to display product in-store to create areas of interest and focus for shopping customers.
We have a collaborative approach and a range of display solutions that create the perfect environment to support optimal sales.

Acopia prides itself at being at the forefront when it comes to providing support, advice and materials for your shop-fit. We can project manage the whole process for you, from concept stage, to designing your store layout, supplying all the materials and project managing the fit-out.

We work with you right from the start to bring your ideas and plans to life. We take your vision and turn it into reality before a single pot of paint has been opened. We pride ourselves at being at the cutting edge in the industry by being able to present you with 3D drawings of your finished shop!

Discover more at Acopia

Consolidating a company’s supply base is one of the major factors in streamlining and reducing process costs. Being efficient when choosing suppliers for your Goods Not For Resale (GNFR) can greatly improve the bottom line.

Under a single source supply strategy, companies can work towards reducing the number of  not-for-resale commodity suppliers they need to trade with.

By consolidating purchases made to a single supply partner frees up time and provides full visibility and control over all purchases made. Some suppliers will go the extra step by building a bespoke procurement web portal, making the process even easier. At Acopia, we have just done that with Single Source and if your business has multiple outlets who all need to order stock, we can support that too with our new service MyAcopia.

Areas of GNFR focus includes packaging, retail consumables, shop fittings and display systems, janitorial supplies and cleaning products, canteen and refreshment supplies, office stationery, print and posters and work wear.

Cost savings through consolidation

A small reduction in a company’s supply base can make substantial savings in back office and hidden or ‘soft’ process costs. Few companies realise the true cost of procurement which is generally accepted to average more than £50 per transaction. Consolidating just one supplier who you order from, say twice a month, can easily deliver savings of over £1,000 per annum – an incredible saving from simply consolidating process.

Having a single place for your staff to visit for all online ordering can also improve the compliance of using preferred supplier contracts, which in turn reduces ‘maverick’ spend. This can be particularly effective for group companies, with multiple site locations.

Using a single source procurement method can also help in situations where very well meaning and conscientious staff place two individual orders with two separate suppliers to achieve a few pounds saving.  They think they’ve done a great job and have saved the company money, but unfortunately they ended up costing your business substantially more than they have saved, because they are unaware of the costs associated with processing and time spent with raising that second order.

For that reason, it is particularly important that any implementation plans are supported by and driven down from the top of the management chain – with clear instructions to users in terms of where they should buy and why!

If you would like to talk to Acopia about our full Single Source service – we would be delighted to assist. Call us on 0845 075 6111.