When Christmas seasonal volumes surge, resources such as pallets, warehouse storage locations and transport equipment can quickly crash to critical lows. Delivery schedules can teeter in the balance as staff scramble throughout the facility to push cases off of pallets in their quest to find enough of them to more or less do the job. Those pallets may be damaged or substandard, but when customers are in a panic about delivery, how important is a pallet, really?
That is, of course, until a pallet results in product damage, a nail laceration to a worker at the receiving end, or even worse, a pallet failure in a storage rack. Then there are questions to answer, and no one is much interested that you were trying valiantly to get the order shipped on time.
You can buy new pallets, but that can often take time. It may require a CAPEX, or you may have already blown your annual budget for new pallets and have to resort to sorting through the stacks of damaged pallets out back to find some that will do. Or in case they are wooden pallets, they might be wet and it could require time before they dry and can be used. The problem is that you need the pallets now, not in January.
The solution to the seasonal pallet crunch is easy. It is called pallet rental or pallet leasing. By renting pallets to cover seasonal peaks, you receive the best quality pallets, ones which deliver superior product protection, meet sanitation requirements and provide other benefits that come with dealing with a leading pool provider. As a result, you avoid the cost of buying pallets that you may not need for ten months per year, and pay only for the period they are required. As an extra bonus, if you rent high quality plastic pallets, you can avoid issues such as exposed nails, slivers or wet deck boards that can soak moisture up into corrugated containers and result in bulging cartons and unstable loads.
And as you have the rental pallets only as long as needed, they aren’t taking up valuable storage space as they sit idle for months on end whether it is Christmas or another seasonal spike in volume, just bring them in when you need them.
No matter how you analyse it, the Christmas season is crazy for retailers. There is a way to help bring sanity to your operations, however, and that is by renting pool pallets to cover the crunch. Why not give yourself a present this season by giving it a try?
Let’s face it: customer’s loyalty isn’t what it used to be. Gone are the days when customers used to shop in one store and one store alone. I remember as a young child I used to ask my parents, whilst on numerous shopping trips, why we always went to the same store for groceries? I was told that we had always shopped there. That’s loyalty and no matter what happened in terms of new stores opening my parents continued to shop at the same store.
However over the past decades the supermarket landscape has changed. There is more choice and options. The changing economic environment has seen the rise of discounted stores and traditional retailers changing to suit shoppers’ budget. In reality, we all shop around nowadays, we go to the stores that offer quality product at the right price (unless you are fortunate enough to not have to worry about the household budget). However, even though we have seen the popularity of the rising stars rocket, there are still reasons that we shop at the big names. You see, there may just be things that you feel you can’t get at the discounters or the fresh produce quality is better at the big name stores!
To be honest, that’s where it gets difficult for the big names: how do they differentiate to ensure that the customer that can’t get what they need from the discounters shop with them?
Well, here at Polymer Logistics we believe that the layout and how produce is displayed goes a long way to encouraging customer loyalty.
Looking at my own buying habits, now I use the store that looks good to purchase the missing items from my list and there can be no doubt that the big names are spending cash reinventing their real estate. However, can they go further? Polymer Logistics believes the answer to that is yes and we think we have the key.
So if you want to discuss how you can get the key to unlock extra loyalty, why not contact us and let us highlight what we can do for you?
There’s something very appealing about an egg. Perfectly formed, versatile and hailed as a superfood, it’s no wonder they’re part of everyone’s weekly shopping basket.
But they do have an obvious fatal flaw if they’re not well protected on their journey to the consumer – the high risk of breakages that pose hygiene risks and can be off-putting to customers. No-one will buy eggs in a box that’s come into contact with raw egg, even if the eggs in that box are intact.
Looking to provide a higher level of protection and reduce breakages and wastage, a well-known UK’s retailer carried out a six-month trial using rising base ambient shippers from Polymer Logistics. These innovative multi-purpose containers not only protect the fragile produce through the supply chain, but they stay looking full via a spring-loaded floor that rises automatically as the egg boxes are shopped.
The retailer first approached Polymer Logistics about reducing damages and waste in 2012 at a Polymer Logistics Open Day. The Egg buying team could see its potential straightaway.
“It’s such a neat and obvious combination,“ said the retailer’s egg buying team. “As part of delivering the best possible shopping experience for customers, we were attracted by the idea of making the eggs on display more visible and easier to select, as well as the potential commercial benefits of reduced wastage and replenishment costs.”
The disadvantages of merchandising eggs in the conventional way start before they even get to the shelf. Transported to store on a pallet and afforded little product protection, there’s a much higher chance of breakages. Furthermore, when they arrive at store, they’re then typically handled twice – first to unload them from the pallet into a roll cage, and then to transfer them from roll cage onto shelf, again with the risk of damage.
Once they’re on the shelf, the eggs at the front may be easy to select, but the ones at the back are harder to reach and are more likely to be left by customers – especially if they’re perceived as “old”.
With Polymer Logistics rising base ambient shippers, egg cartons are loaded by the packers directly into the shippers – “retail-ready” for when they arrive at the store with no further handling. Once in position, as egg boxes are selected by customers, the cartons underneath rise up and remain nicely presented, even when only a few remain.
The robust multi-purpose bins replace one-trip packaging – so they’re also more environmentally sustainable and cost-effective.
The retailer’s six-month trial proved highly successful. The stores involved reported 30% fewer breakages, less product wastage, less cardboard waste, and savings in replenishment costs.
The mentioned retailer is currently rolling out the units in its stores nationwide.
Image 1 (left): Polymer Logistics’ wood-effect Marketplace Display designed to enhance the appearance of fresh produce. Image 2 (right): The Crystal Clear freestanding display unit with pooled stackable trays from Polymer Logistics.
Polymer Logistics to present its range of cost-effective and fresh look merchandising solutions at Convenience Summit 2016
Exhibiting Marketplace Display with crates for uniform store appearance of fresh produce as well as Crystal Clear freestanding display units for chilled beverage
Polymer Logistics, a leading provider of retail-ready packaging (RRP) solutions, will exhibit its innovative and visually appealing solutions for the display of beverages, fresh produce and more at Convenience Summit 2016, held on the 8th and 9th June 2016 at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Rd, London NW1 2AR. Summit’s attendees will discover how Polymer Logistics’ Marketplace Display system, as well as its range of Crystal Clear crates, can stimulate customer engagement while also providing significant supply chain cost savings versus single use packaging alternatives.
Selected by Tesco Group’s ‘One Stop’ shops, the Marketplace Display is a modular crates’ display system that can be quickly assembled and is designed to create a uniform store appearance. Thanks to its wood-effect look, it is now emerging as the new standard for retailers seeking to create an upscale fresh market look for stores. This conversion is well underway in the United States as Wal-Mart has mandated a shift for all of its produce crates to follow the lead of the Polymer Logistics wood grain evocative Marketplace crate – the company’s crates line for a distinctive “fresh from the field” appearance, in contrast to typical, industrial-looking crates. With the Marketplace crate, a perception of fresh and local produce can be created without compromising on the hygiene, cost and environmental benefits associated with reusable plastic containers.
Marketplace Display is designed for easy installation and relocation. No tools are needed for assembly thanks to its “snap locks” design, and the option of interlocking clips mean that adjacent columns can be locked in place for stability. The tilted plinth display provides easier reach to the back row of the crates for both staff and customers. Additionally, the closed design prevents items from falling into the stand, reducing the need to dismantle it for cleaning. The Marketplace Display is compatible with both 600×400 mm and half-size 400×300 mm Marketplace crates, as well as various other containers and cardboard.
Another innovation from Polymer Logistics, its Crystal Clear freestanding display units (FSDUs), offers a number of advantages in comparison to cardboard FSDUs. Besides providing a clear view of the products being merchandised, Crystal Clear delivers superior load bearing capacity. This feature makes them a preferred solution for heavier products such as beverages, shampoos, and lotions. Also noteworthy, Crystal Clear crates generate cost savings throughout the supply chain with regard to ease of handling, storage and order selection with the standard sized containers. Meanwhile, their sturdy construction helps minimise product damage. At retail, the one-touch merchandising of stock received in Crystal Clear trays allows for seamless and efficient replenishment of displays, significantly reducing stocking time. Conservatively, Crystal Clear offers up to a 50% saving versus traditional cardboard.
Exhibiting the Marketplace Display with crates and the CleanPal pallet
Image 1 (left): The Polymer Logistics wood-effect Marketplace Display designed to enhance the appearance of fresh produce.
Image 2 (right): The cost effective and hygienic CleanPal pallet from Polymer Logistics.
Polymer Logistics, a leading provider of retail-ready packaging (RRP) solutions, will exhibit its next generation products for the fresh produce supply chain at the London Produce Show 2016, held between the 8th and 10th June 2016 at Grosvenor House, Park Lane in London. Show’s attendees are encouraged to visit the company’s booths (booths 322 & 324) to discover more about the fresh and natural look of its Marketplace Display with crate range and its cost effective and hygienic CleanPal pallet.
Selected by Tesco Group’s ‘One Stop’ shops, the Marketplace Display is a wood-effect, modular crates’ display system that presents a “farm fresh” look for the in-store display of fresh produce. With the Marketplace Display and the Marketplace crate – Polymer Logistics’ wood-effect crates range for a distinctive “fresh from the field” appearance, in contrast to typical, industrial-looking crates – a perception of fresh and local produce can be created without compromising on the hygiene, cost and environmental benefits associated with reusable plastic containers.
The Marketplace Display is designed to support Marketplace crates and enhance the appearance of the critical produce section at retail. The modular display system is ideal for easy installation and relocation. With its “snap locks” design, no tools are needed for assembly and the option of interlocking clips means that adjacent columns can be locked in place for stability. The tilted plinth display allows easier access to the back row of the crates for both stockers and customers. Additionally, the unit is closed, preventing items falling into the stand, and reducing the need to dismantle it for cleaning. The Marketplace Display is compatible with both 600×400 mm and half-size 400×300 mm Marketplace crates, as well as various other containers and cardboard.
Also being exhibited by Polymer Logistics is its CleanPal pallet, which offers many advantages over wood pallets regarding improved hygiene, durability, safety, and overall cost savings. Produced from high-density polyethene (HDPE), it provides a sigh of relief to industry professionals looking to minimise the risk of harmful foodborne pathogens in their supply chain. The water-resistant CleanPal pallet offers a go-to option in terms of ease of cleaning, thus decreasing the risk of infestation, odour, dust, or mould growth.
The cost savings made possible by the CleanPal pallet result primarily from its superior durability. The CleanPal pallet can last up to 10 years in general applications, providing an extremely low cost-per-use over the pallet’s lifetime. Additionally, the nestable design of the pallet means that three times as many pallets can be accommodated on one lorry load, presenting the opportunity for reduced fuel costs and lower carbon footprint. Pallets are efficient on space when nested when being stored freeing up valuable space
The CleanPal pallet deck features moulded locations with recessed grooves to lock in place the crates being transported and prevent load shifting in transit. Designed to be compatible with Maxi-nest crates as well as with Polynest – Polymer Logistics’ line of ergonomic and stackable crates, the system provides increased load stability, an important feature for producers looking to eliminate damage to fresh produce during distribution.
I don’t know about you but I am a big fan of the ‘pop-in’ store or as some may describe it the convenience store. I often hear it stated that nowadays we are all time poor (or so we believe). In essence we don’t have enough time during the day to do everything that is necessary in life. Yes, you can say that we have allowed the distractions of modern day living to drive us to this time poor image but I personally think that we are indeed struggling to fit it all in. If I compare our generation to previous generations it does appear that the lifestyle is different. The necessity to do all it takes to pay the bills seems to somehow pull is into a state that means we haven’t got time almost to do on a daily basis what previous generations did. I equate this to shopping trips of old. You see when I was kid we shopped at one retail establishment. We spent enough time there to gather everything we needed for the next week and we always stuck to ‘the list’. Who amongst us has the time to do that now? It does appear that there is a marked shift to online for shopping but one area that is going from strength to strength is convenience, in essence this is the ‘emergency shopping service’ that has started to take the place of the weekly shop.
We all have that far too familiar telephone conversation with our partners where there is the inevitable question, “What shall we have for dinner?” It must take place thousands of time across the UK every day. The invariable response, “I will pop in to ‘wherever’ and pick something up on the way home” almost seems inevitable. Invariably it’s a convenience store, you know the one; It’s that one on our route home, the one where we can park easily, select what we want and get home in the shortest time possible. Retailers have got savvy to this growing trend and the value that convenience can add to the bottom line. What’s more, maybe there is an opportunity to add a little more to the price to grow profits. The thinking here is that you will pay a little more for the convenience. A raft of convenience stores, with a smaller footprint, are rapidly populating our towns and cities.
Some of the more traditional convenience stores that have been in this space are re-inventing their images and making changes to their ad campaigns to ensure they capitalise on the time constrained message.
Analysts are predicting that convenience will continue to grow at a pace and I for one say “God Bless the convenience store”.
The Crystal Clear range from Polymer Logistics helps convenience stores re-inventing their images. The units are aesthetically appealing and display the product offering clearly to the consumer. What’s more, they can be trimmed with POS messaging to optimise promotion, which in turn increases sales.
We all love online shopping right? The convenience of sitting in your own home shopping and then sitting back waiting for delivery for some is ideal. Busy life styles dictate that online will continue to grow in popularity. However does online neglect one crucial aspect that footfall through retail doors may encourage namely impulse purchase?
If you’re anything like me and my family we go shopping with a list. We know what we want and need and we try to stick to it. But let’s face it we are all natural browsers and for years retailers have been capitalising on this. We wander around the store shopping list in hand but all of us are soon distracted by the end of aisle displays and such like that tempt us in to spending extra. Indeed don’t forget whilst your there to browse through the DVD or the electronics aisles! The point is we often buy on impulse the items that we hadn’t planned to or even sometimes budgeted for. The supermarkets have relied on this for years.
The question is does online encourage impulse and in answer to this I am not sure. Yes there are features built into e commerce sites like customers who bought this also purchased this etc. etc., but do we all take advantage of this? Look, I don’t have the data at hand that says we do or we don’t, but when I have shopped online I have a set agenda, get online, select what’s needed and purchase in the least possible time. I never browse on a supermarket website!
What you can say is that there is no doubt about it online shopping is here to stay, people I know will never shop ‘in store’ again, however as a retailer don’t be surprised if you lose the impulse purchaser.