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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New wood look re usable plastic crate from Polymer Logistics is set to transform produce aisles at Wal-Mart and Carrefour

Polymer Logistics, a Retail-Ready Packaging (RRP) pooler and global leader in innovation, is pleased to announce that the world’s largest retailer Wal-Mart as well as the largest chain in Europe Carrefour have both chosen Polymer’s wood-look crates for their supply chains. Both retailers have signed long-term agreements with Polymer Logistics. The decision was based on thorough studies, pilots and customer acceptance surveys.

PL072 During pilots, retailers reported a significant uplift of over 3% in produce sales when using the crates from Polymer. Customer surveys showed a clear preference of over 85% for the wood-look crates compared to the industrial plastic-looking green or black crates. Customers appreciated the fresh ‘back-to-nature’ look, which creates a traditional market feel in the store.

In today’s “first impression counts” environment there can be no doubt that where retailers deploy the wood look crate, an-uplift in sales will naturally follow.

The produce department, typically located at the front of the supermarket, drives foot traffic for the overall outlet. So any improvement there has an exponential benefit on total store sales. Retailers have introduced wooden plinths in the department to emphasise the freshness of produce offered. However when it comes to the actual packaging of produce, the use of coloured industrial-looking crates is commonplace. The result is a sterile-looking produce department. In essence, retailers are failing to present a market-fresh image to perceptive shoppers.

“If retailers truly want to offer their customers that market fresh look, then they need to find an alternative to the industrial looking plastic crate that is prevalent in every produce aisle”, commented Gideon Feiner, CEO at Polymer Logistics.

The family of wood-look crates was introduced 18 months ago at the Fruit Logistica trade show in Berlin, followed by exhibits at both the United Fresh and Produce Marketing Association (PMA) trade shows in the US.

The new wood-look crates from Polymer Logistics can be used in exactly the same way as existing plastic-look crates as they have the same footprint and reverse logistics. Offering a real benefit in terms of cost savings over traditional disposable material the wood look crates offer robust product protection thus ensuring that produce arrives in store undamaged. Foldable and stackable to maximise store and truck space the crates feature an active lock system for fast and easy erection and collapsing. Environmentally friendly and fully recyclable at the end of its useful life the crates are both lightweight for ease of handling and hygienic.

Further information on the wood look crates can be found at: http://www.polymerlogistics.com/product-solutions/wood-look-rpc-eu-size2/

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Plastic pallets: the top choice for fresh produce

Food hygiene concerns shift pallet purchasing trends as food manufacturers choose plastic

Composition of various exotic fruits isolated on white background

With a wider choice than ever in produce pallets, the move away from those produced from wood and towards plastic pallets is most evident. But what advantages can plastic pallets offer over their wooden counterparts?

They are certainly a cleaner, safer and more robust alternative, with some of the following qualities:

• More Hygienic – plastic pallets are made to be water-resistant and allow for high-pressure cleaning in between uses, minimising the risk of infestation, odour, dust, or mould growth.

• More Durable and Flexible – the optimal loading capabilities of plastic pallets keeps fresh produce well protected and economises storage space and transportation far better than its wood equivalent.

• More Economical – under standard handling and loading conditions, the typical lifespan of the plastic pallet is estimated at 10 years; significantly longer than a wood pallet. While the initial cost might be higher, the return on this investment throughout the plastic pallet’s working life is greater.

• Safer – Being free from nails and jagged edges, the risks of handling injuries along the supply chain with a plastic pallet are greatly reduced.

• Greener – while wooden pallets pose a threat to forestry, plastic pallets, which are frequently made from recyclable materials, clearly are a more sustainable option.

With its low cost per unit, our CleanPal pallet was designed with these potential benefits over a wooden pallet alternative in mind.

Produced from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), CleanPal is washable and, therefore more hygienic. With the constant threat of harmful foodborne pathogens being a major concern in food logistics, food manufacturers do not want to use wood pallets. We have found that plastic pallets, such as CleanPal, are becoming their go-to option. As CleanPal is resistant to moisture, weak acids and alkalis, it is suitable for use in other industries that depend on contaminant-free transportation too, including the pharmaceuticals industry.

CleanPal’s innovative, nestable capability means that our plastic pallets can fit neatly inside one another for increased stackability. We found that this is important in space-limited retail environments as well as being beneficial for both the efficient transportation and return of empty pallets. In fact, up to 3 times more pallets can be accommodated on one lorry load compared with a wood pallet equivalent. The lower transport effort per unit makes for substantial reductions in fuel cost and a lower carbon footprint too!

What’s more, the CleanPal deck features marked moulded locations with recessed grooves so that it can lock in place the crates that are being transported. The improved stability of crates when placed on the plastic pallet CleanPal means that all contents remain well-protected whilst in transit. Designed to be compatible with our Polynest line of stackable crates for food products, this is a key feature for food manufacturers aiming to eliminate damage to spoilable, fresh produce on its way to stores.

Produced with large strength to density ratio, plastic pallets are overall less susceptible to degradation over time and at half the weight of a wood equivalent, it is possible to be lifted by just one person. We have found that the production of CleanPal at a consistent dimension of 1200 x 1000 x 162mm (ensured by the fact that they are manufactured in highly polished moulds) is also appealing to those that need to account for precise loading calculations.

Intrigued and swayed to try a switch towards a cleaner and cost-effective alternative for fresh produce transportation too?

For further information on the CleanPal, please visit: http://www.polymerlogistics.com/product-solutions/nestable-pallet2/ or call +44 (0) 845 200 0001

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What really is market fresh?

Assorted raw organic vegetables isolated on white
The concept of the field to fork philosophy is a common practice with many of the modern day suppliers of groceries to the general public. The fundamentals of this practice look at continuing the idea of fresh and wholesome products, that have the impression of freshly picked, dug up or packaged much like locally sourced items had back in the 1920s.

The idea of a milk man with the clink of bottles heard from yards away, the fish monger arriving on his push bike with a wicker basket full with plaice and ice. The butchers cart laden with all the cuts, from cheap to pricey, prime to offcuts, all delivered to your door, in unique vehicles designed with the care and love only a sole trader could have. The idea is that a product will at every stage still continue to be perceived as freshly picked, plucked, or de-podded, and maintain that perception through the use of packaging, delivery vehicles, and containers.

Although those days are long behind us, and with the customer now doing the majority of legwork, a recent resurgence in food delivery services has shown itself to be the next bastion in the supermarket wars.

Touching on the specific dedication that 1920s era grocers had towards the look and feel of their service, many of the current suppliers of retail ready FMCG, have carved out a detail design on every small aspect of branding throughout the retail chain. From Ads to trolleys, products to staff uniforms, all of these are designed for one purpose, to build a perception in the mind of the customer that this is a professional outfit who can be trusted. However, with ever expanding competition at the top, differentiation is now becoming key to cut through the noise.

 

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As one major chain has adapted to one USP they wish to be known for, another has used another. Each top chain now has there own brand and that brand has its own idea of how it wishes to be perceived.
Yet, one of the last areas that has not employed the required philosophy, to stay ahead in this competitive game, is the final delivery perception.

The delivery is currently ordered buy the customer for a specific time, and essentially they invite the brand into their home to drop of the goods that they repeat purchase each week. You would expect this part of the journey to be well defined. A perfect example of how a brand can make the right impression by the equipment, attire, and appearance in which they interact with that customer could develop a loyal trusting customer to that modern day grosser.
Although the speed and levels of cost saving they wish to achieve somehow negates that, this is one aspect that could provide a way of cutting them far and above the competition.

With the smallest of changes to the overall end user experience, a large return on investment could be seen. Although the investment in ‘vintage’ looking, yet robust crates could increase the cost at base level, the creation and increase of brand image can result in a long standing partnership between customer and supplier.

Many of the customers who use the online shopping services, do so for the convenience of delivery, and with that comes the lack of need to step foot in the traditional supermarkets. This could provide a situation where the only exposure, out side of the well-scripted and designed adverts, they have is at the point of contact between delivery driver and user. This is where streamlining of the brand and philosophy of the company needs to show through. With the addition of a well-crafted delivery van, a well-structured uniform, and high quality containers, that are so prominent to the end user, a true understanding of the company’s ideals and image can be portrayed. Only then will the loyalty of the customer be tested in the supermarket wars.

 

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Send in the images of your fresh produce aisles and discover what your retail space would look like with our new Market Place crate!

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Following on from the successful launch of our new Market Place crate, which is designed for retail stores that want to give that market fresh impression, it has already undergone successful pilot trials with a market-leading retailer. The response we have seen from our customers has been amazing and in turn where it has been piloted, sales of fresh produce in store have risen.

Feedback from retailers has included “this is the greatest invention within the field of RPC of the last 20 years” and there can be no doubt that when retailers see for themselves they will see how this new crate can transform the look of fresh produce aisles and will be 100% convinced of the difference it can make.  In surveys that were completed during the pilot more than 86% of customers preferred the Market Place crate compared to the industrial RPC.

Already nominated for a number of major industry awards, the Market Place crate continues to make a big impression at exhibitions all over the world and will be showcased again at the United Fresh Show Chicago in June this year.

We are that confident in the crates’ ability to improve customer experience that we have issued a challenge to retailers worldwide.  In essence retailers are challenged to send in images of fresh produce aisles as they are now and in response, using digital technology, we will replicate how they could look using the new Market Place crate.

For customers who want to take up this challenge simply take your images and send into . We will be in touch with a representation of the future for customers’ fresh produce aisles.

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Market Place crate makes the shortlist for the ‘innovation of the year’ at the Fresh awards 2014!

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Following the successful launch of the market place crate, the most recent innovation from Polymer Logistics is already making a huge impact. In recognition of this it has been nominated as finalist for a prestigious award within the fresh produce industry: the Freshawards 2014. Organized by (Fresh Produce Consortium), the UK’s fresh produce trade association, the award aims to reward those companies that have distinguished themselves within the industry, therefore being shortlisted for the “Innovation of the Year” category is a great honour for Polymer Logistics.

The philosophy behind the development of the Market Place crate, designed for retail stores that want to give that market fresh impression, is that the environment, atmosphere and ‘experience’ of a retail outlet can significantly influence a consumer’s purchasing behaviour. The ‘farm fresh’ or ‘market fresh’ perception is undoubtedly helping to drive sales and is high on today’s customer agenda when they shop for fresh produce.  This ‘fresh’ perception helps to portray the image of quality and contributes to retailer business issues such as increasing individual customer spend.

The winners will be announced on the 5th of June. Check out additional information about the award following the link below… in the meantime fingers crossed!

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Polymer Logistics is a global leader in Retail-Ready Packaging (RRP). We provide world-class plastic container and pallet pooling services, working closely ...

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