Carrefour deploys the Marketplace crate from Polymer Logistics in its two new store formats

Attractive “wood-look” container provides a glimpse into the future of retailing, selected for Carrefour’s new Market Attrazione 2.0 and Carrefour Express 3 Minuti stores

As competition in the grocery retail sector continues to intensify, grocery retailers are looking to create stores that exceed shopper expectations for freshness and convenience, value pricing, healthy eating choices and locally sourced products. For its part, Carrefour continues to position itself for the future with the launch of its two newest retail formats, Market Attrazione 2.0 and Express 3 Minuti. The leading international merchant tapped the Marketplace crate from Polymer Logistics for deployment in both new outlets.

The first Market Attrazione 2.0 location recently opened in Pomezia in the Lazio region of Italy. At a size of almost 27,000 square feet, it offers more than 16,000 SKUs and is open 24/7. The emphasis of Market Attrazione 2.0 is on low pricing, including fixed low prices, as well as convenience. It also has a strong focus on healthy eating and local products, including a dedicated 640 square foot Bio area that offers organic, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan products. The store lists more than 1,000 locally sourced items, and the format also features perfume, seasonal non-food and textile departments.

Meanwhile, Carrefour has also launched its first Carrefour Express 3 Minuti in Genova. This 1,700-square foot store celebrates freshness and convenience in a small format setting, including a quick and easy customer experience. Shopping is made easy thanks to the organisation of products by area, including the featured fruit and vegetable section. Express 3 Minuti also offers tasty breakfasts, quick lunch options, as well as ready-made dinner selections. Other services include digital photo processing, free wi-fi, tickets, phone charging station, gift cards, ATM, bill payment and more.

Thanks to its attractive, wood-look exterior, the Marketplace crate evokes a farm-fresh ambience that has proven to help boost sales in all formats. The durable, standardised containers from Polymer Logistics also contribute to reducing both product loss as well as supply chain logistical costs, thus enabling retailers to compete successfully in both convenience and value pricing environments alike.

Gian Paolo Mezzanotte, Managing Director at Polymer Logistics, said: “We are delighted to support Carrefour’s development of innovative store formats with the Marketplace crate. Its acceptance at Market Attrazione 2.0 and Carrefour Express 3 Minuti stores demonstrates how the Marketplace crate can play a crucial role in helping retailers deliver on their vision for the future.”

Polymer Logistics salutes Tesco’s accomplishment of 20 million pieces of free fruit handed out to children

UK’s biggest supermarket utilises Polymer’s wood-effect Marketplace display fixtures to support the development of healthy eating habits

Polymer Logistics, a leading provider of retail-ready packaging (RRP) solutions, salutes Tesco on its accomplishment of having provided 20 million pieces of free fresh fruit to kids. Polymer is proud to have had its wood effect Marketplace units used to display the fruit selection.

Tesco’s innovative “Free Fruit for Kids” initiative, which has been rolled out in over 800 stores, has given UK children the opportunity to snack on over 6.5 million apples, 8 million bananas and 5.5 million oranges since the program began in the summer of 2016. According to a recent online survey of 1,400 Mumsnet users, one-third of parents say their children have eaten more fruit because of participating in the program, and nine out of ten respondents feel more positive about Tesco because of it.

With its extended line of Marketplace products, Polymer Logistics offers visual merchandising solutions for food retailers seeking to create an upscale fresh market look for stores. The distinctive wood-effect appearance of the Marketplace product family is advantageous to the perception of the store and has become the new standard for retailers.

In addition to visual appeal, Polymer’s Marketplace solutions 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.  Fully recyclable at the end of their long life, Polymer’s Marketplace products eliminate packaging waste.

Following pilots, customer satisfaction surveys and acceptance of the Marketplace crates within international chains, including Wal-Mart and Carrefour, Tesco Group’s ‘One Stop’ shops have also selected Polymer Logistics’ Marketplace display and crate system – a modular display system that can be quickly assembled and is designed to create a uniform store look.

Adrian Dale, Polymer Logistics Managing Director for the UK, said, “We are delighted to support Tesco’s commitment to making the healthy choice easier for all its customers, children and grown-ups, through a distinctive ‘fresh from the field’ appearance of its stores and products.

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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.

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