Commerciale GiCap enjoys a 10% fresh produce sales boost with Market Place crates from Polymer Logistics

Natural, wood-effect presentation ambiance results in sales increase for the Italian distributor/retailer with Shoppers perceiving produce fresher and higher in quality.

 

In a country long known for its passionate embrace of food ingredients of exceptional quality, particularly fresh produce, the Market Place crate from Polymer Logistics is quickly establishing itself as a foundational component of the Italian shopping experience. Following successful implementations at Wal-Mart and Carrefour, Commerciale GiCap, a major distribution company in southern Italy, has benefited from a highly successful rollout of the Market Place crate system. GiCap, affiliated with Italy’s VéGé Group retail consortium, is active in Messina and its provinces in that country. It operates 80 stores operating under the Quiconviene and Sidis names.

 

In its efforts to grow its fruit and vegetable presence in recent years, GiCap has taken several steps to target its trading strategies and implement policy changes. A crucial part of its initiative has related to improving its retail shopping experience. “We have expanded our commitment to improving the presentation strategies for fruit and vegetables at our stores,” said Giovanni Capone, Sales Director of GiCap. During the second half of 2016, the company introduced the Market Place crate system to a significant part of its store network.

 

“The result was totally positive,” Capone said. “We immediately found a significant increase in sales, which in some cases reached 10%.” He noted that customer feedback was also very positive about how the Market Place crates provided a greater “visibility” or visual appeal to the fresh produce being displayed.

 

Polymer Logistics provides industry-leading solutions for food retailers seeking to create an upscale fresh market look for stores. The distinctive wood-effect, ‘fresh from the field’ appearance of the Market Place product family is quickly becoming the defacto standard for the best-in-class merchandising of fresh produce in Europe as well as North America. Wal-Mart and Carrefour have both recorded substantial increases in fresh produce sales since instituting the Market Place crate. In fact, a study conducted in Italy indicated that 94% of consumers preferred the “Wood-Look” of Market Place crates to other alternatives.

 

Besides its obvious advantages in terms of visual appeal for retail display, Market Place crates provide other crucial benefits for the distribution of fresh produce, including robust product protection, foldable and stackable performance to maximise truck and store space, ergonomically friendly design, and the elimination of splinters and wires.  Market Place crates from Polymer also eliminate packaging waste through repeated reuse, and ultimately their recycling into plastic granules at the end of their useful life.

 

“In light of this experience, we are considering the possibility to introduce the Polymer Logistics solutions across all our network,” Capone concluded.

 

Psst! And the winners of the fresh awards are…

Who will be this year’s winners in fresh? Anticipation is running high as the Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC) gets set to stage Fresh Awards 2017, an event which spotlights the produce industry’s best and brightest in areas such as innovation, leadership, business best practices and sustainability. Judges have been diligently reviewing an “overwhelming” number of entries to get down to the finalists, according to Nigel Jenny, the CEO of FPC. The competition is intense, but the results can be beneficial to supply chain participants as well as customers.

A total of 16 awards will be presented at the black-tie event. They span five different categories, including Individual Excellence, Supply Chain Excellence, Retail Excellence, Business Excellence, and Best of the Best.  Polymer Logistics welcomes the opportunity to participate at Fresh Awards 2017 as the sponsor of the prestigious Fresh Produce Business of the Year Award. Last year, the winner in this section was fresh prepared fruit supplier, Blue Skies.

The celebration takes place Thursday 8th June at the Intercontinental, Park Lane, when well-known British comedian, actor and broadcaster Hugh Dennis will announce the finalists and winners to the capacity audience. More than 500 people attended last year’s gala.

It’s no secret that fresh produce is becoming increasingly important to shoppers, especially fresh, high-quality items that provide superior nutrition and more memorable meal experiences. As FPC’s Fresh Awards program supports the efforts of individuals and businesses in the fresh produce supply chain dedicated to improving customer engagement with fresh food, Polymer Logistics is extremely proud to support this initiative. It is one that holds true to Polymer’s own values around providing packaging solutions such as the Market Place Crate, an approach which maximises the quality and freshness of fresh produce in the most logistically efficient and retail-friendly manner possible – from grower to the produce display. As we celebrate the battle to win at Fresh Awards 2017, we also celebrate the collaborative aspirations of the fresh produce supply chain toward delivering the freshest and the best to customers. When consumers win, so do we all.

Polymer Logistics presents unique, adaptive display solutions at Retail Design Expo, 8th – 9th May 2017

The company, a leading provider of retail-ready packaging (RPP) solutions, welcomes Retail Design Expo attendees to visit booth P34 to explore how its innovative display solutions can help create a unique and flexible retail experience.

Following a successful showing at the recent Euroshop 2017 retail trade fair, Polymer Logistics will exhibit its Wood Effect display solutions and its Crystal-Clear freestanding display units (FSDUs) at the Retail Design Expo, designed to optimise shopper experience and functionality for both food and non-food retailers.

Polymer Logistics will be showcasing its revolutionary wood-effect Marketplace display systems. The Marketplace products provide a fresh and natural appearance while delivering supply chain cost savings and proven produce sales increase of 10%. The ergonomically friendly Marketplace display is designed for easy installation and relocation with no tools required for assembly.

The organic and natural feel product is suitable for a range of products from fresh fruit and vegetables to fashion wear and footwear. The modular system which was used for the “Tesco Free Fruit for Kids” Campaign throughout the UK is now being rolled out in Carrefour supermarkets in Italy. The latest addition to the Marketplace line is a stand for flowers, which is again modular as with other Marketplace models.

In addition to the Marketplace units, Polymer’s Crystal Clear FSDU’s, which are offered in clear polycarbonate, will be on display throughout the show, these are lightweight and reusable and can be quickly reconfigured to support a memorable shopping experience with each merchandising reset.

Products displayed in Crystal Clear containers are fully visible, helping catch shopper attention and aiding staff in locating items. The display units can be complemented with POS signage to increase customer interaction. A new refrigerated version of the Crystal Clear line has also been recently introduced for all store formats including superstores, through to convenience.

In addition to retail advantages, Crystal Clear crates help improve efficiency throughout the supply chain. Designed with ease of stacking and load stability in mind, they enhance material handling and storage operations, while preventing product damage. Consistently sized, they are ideal for automated fulfilment systems and omni-channel distribution. In store, merchandise received in Crystal Clear trays can be wheeled quickly onto the sales floor, providing a one-touch merchandising solution. Conservatively, Crystal Clear offers up to a 50% saving versus traditional cardboard shipping containers and FSDUs.

Polymer Logistics looks forward to meeting visitors at the show and hearing about their challenges.  By engaging in open dialogue and welcoming new ideas from retailers, Polymer Logistics innovatively designs, develops and applies new and better ways to pioneer novel solutions. The company’s unique approach combined with its strengthen relationship with customers makes a difference in the market by offering retailers a competitive position with quality product and cost savings.

Polymer Logistics, EcoVadis and the Power of Participation

Companies want to do the right thing when it comes to corporate social responsibility (CSR), but supply chains and supplier relationships are often complex. Such complications can make it difficult to determine the validity of a firm’s green marketing claims or the overall success of their environmental initiatives, especially in networks that involve several tiers of suppliers, sometimes stretching globally.

For example, a company can have a stellar sustainability record in its operations, but what does that really mean if its suppliers far afield are spewing out pollutants or using child labour? Likewise a firm can make selective claims such as that it recycles its corrugated cardboard, but how does that action contribute to its overall sustainability aspirations if the packaging it chooses results in more greenhouse gas emissions, more water usage, more solid waste and more workplace injuries than options such as reusable packaging?

Luckily, EcoVadis helps bring clarity to the CSR performance of companies. More than 20,000 companies use EcoVadis to reduce risk associated with business relationships, while driving innovation and fostering transparency between trading partners. Participants include leading international brands and small businesses alike. The bottom line is that through participation in this process, industry is helping to drive positive social and environmental change.

Polymer Logistics is pleased to be one of the many progressive businesses that has undergone the rigorous EcoVadis evaluation, and it is happy to announce that it has received the EcoVadis Gold Recognition Level for 2016, the highest possible CSR rating. It scored its highest marks in Fair Business Practices and Sustainable Procurement categories. After initially receiving the Silver Recognition Level in 2015, Polymer rolled up its sleeves to make the necessary improvements required to achieve the Gold rating in 2016.

Are you ready to put your corporate CSR performance to the test? EcoVadis combines an industry-leading team of analysts, an innovative technology platform, and a unique CSR assessment methodology – one that spans 150 purchasing categories, 110 countries, and 21 CSR indicators. The resulting scorecard indicates how well you are doing versus your peers, and in what areas you can improve. Imagine the exponential power of companies in a supply network all participating, and those networks leading to adoption by other networks. The possibility for positive change is immense, and Polymer Logistics couldn’t be prouder to be a participant.

Are UK supermarkets facing an identity crisis?

 

It’s a Saturday morning like any other and the age-old act of traversing the vast wasteland of supermarket aisles has become that much of a mundane chore, that I think we’ve missed what is becoming a glaringly obvious question – are these giants of retail facing some kind of identity crisis? Have they actually lost sight of who they are, and what they started out as?

At one time the ‘Big 4’, commanded total authority over our shopping habits. However, since the price wars of recent years and down turns in economies customers have woken up to the fact that saving a few pence on a £50.00 shop isn’t really good enough. Enter the challenger – the low cost store! “What does this have to do with identity?”I hear you ask. Well, in a word, everything!

In the last 18 to 24 months low cost alternatives have become so popular that the larger chains are finding it ever harder to be on an equal footing. Every week more and more people are choosing to shop at these low cost retailers even though they realise that they are potentially sacrificing quality… but by how much?

Bosses at one of the discount stores claim that their products are consistent in their quality, and for a 10% quality reduction customers are actually saving 30% during the average shop. They’re doing this by avoiding the stereotypical high-street brands and using their own. Do they in reality taste any different? No, but they cost less, and it’s this factor that has lead the big boys to implement more “was £2.00, now £1.50” tactics and BOGOF offers but they’re still falling behind on profits by a rapidly increasing margin.

This is where your traditional supermarket really is losing its identity. In their attempts to save its customer money, they have all become one and the same, save for a few pence difference. According to Mike Dennis, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald Research, the Big 4 are facing a true identity crisis and they need to pick a side. Are they going to go with premium items, or are they going to go the way of the discounters and offer lower prices? If they do neither, they’ll have to do something drastic to compete in this increasingly bland environment.

The Bank of England officially recognises the benefits of Polymer!

 

 

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Yes, it’s true, and we couldn’t be more proud. The Bank of England has formally accepted and embraced the dramatic benefits of polymer – the same financial and environmental advantages which savvy supply chain operators already enjoy. Full disclosure, we are talking about the new £5 note made from polymer, not the range of retail ready packaging solutions provided by Polymer Logistics. When you look at BOE’s rationale for going to plastic for the attractive New Fiver, however, the same compelling talking points speak to supply chain operations as well. The power of polymer can be a game changer in your wallet as well as for your bottom line.

First of all, BOE has found the New Fiver to be cleaner. To be precise, Mark Carney, BOE’s Governor says, “The impermeable and non-fibrous nature of polymer means it repels dirt and moisture.” Did you know that the average paper banknote has been determined to carry 26,000 bacteria? If a single paper note harbours so many bacteria, think about how many occupy a soiled wood pallet!

Secondly, the polymer notes are stronger and therefore resistant to tearing – the leading cause of paper note retirement along with being washed, chewed or eaten (we are not making this up!). In a similar vein, the strength of plastic packaging provides superior product protection and eliminates crushing and puncture damage to goods in the supply chain. This translates into fewer claims and eliminates the need for logistics heroics to replace the unsalable items.

Thirdly, BOE says the polymer notes will last 2.5 times longer than their paper predecessors, which will benefit significantly the environment. As the notes will last longer, fewer will need to be printed, meaning less energy will be used in manufacturing and transportation of cash. When a polymer note reaches the end of its life, it can be recycled into new plastic products. No surprise, users of reusable plastic packaging are already quite familiar with the environmental and financial benefits of durability and reuse.

Finally, the polymer Fiver boasts state-of-the-art new security measures and an attractive appearance that paper notes just can’t match.

When it comes to the benefits of polymer for your supply chain, don’t only take it from us. Check with Governor Carney and BOE. It’s money in the bank.

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The rising base shipper and the DIY industry

 

With the large number of heavy items that exist in DIY chains stores, a number of methods have been installed to try to mitigate the potential of customer injury such as muscular damage. One method is to employ large numbers of staff to assist in the moving and distribution of items that perhaps consist of large bags, heavy pots, paint tins, garden equipment etc on the store floor.
With a high percentage of the consumer in high street DIY chains is above 40 there is a great risk for the potential to causing injury or at the very least, lead to an uncomfortable shopping experience.

The spring loaded crates from Polymer logistics could provide a excellent method of providing a support for these customers in the way that it functions as a delivery system . As one item is removed from the crate, the next one replaces it due to the spring loaded mechanism built into the base of the crate. This method of delivery provides a potential to reduce the risk of back injury as it reduces the need to bend down to pick up the item. Instead the item is delivered to a level, which calls for minor movements to take the item and thus reduces strain.

Although shelving is a staple feature in many of our DIY stores, the need of assistance for many customers can cause an increase in the demands on staff time to assist. What’s more it could also essentially put customers of going to such a store, without someone to help.

With the ever growing demographic of older people taking up gardening and small DIY projects, the ever growing need for a robust system to mitigate against the risk of injury is greatly increased. however this small but important problem can in fact be reduced or even taken out of the equation by a number of minor changes at either end of the delivery cycle. as the product is exchanged to the customer for the first time, there is a apparent need there. When the product is being processed at
the check out there is a need for a product to assist there. When the product has left the store with the customer, a requirement is needed however the store is not obligated to do so. This could be seen as a opportunity to provide a level of service beyond the expectations of the consumer, and thus increase the loyalty to the brand in question. “They have done a favour for me, so I will do one for them by revisiting”. This is the quest of every chain that is actively pursuing customers in a competitive market.

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