Food presentation is they key ingredient to retailing food (apart from the food itself, of course!) Always let the food be the hero, and the displays should never detract attention from the product. That doesn't mean the food presentation displays don't need to be durable, functional and visually appealing. However it does mean the function is to show the food in the best possible manner.
Food presentation items include bowls, platters, risers, in fills, as well as spoons, scoops and even bulk food dispensers.
Plastic fabrication is the supply of plastic fittings for retailers, and can range from a range of plastic materials including acrylic for brochure displays to display racks in store. Plastic fabrication is usually used by retailers for all their shop fitting needs and can often be customised at the request of companies. Plastic fabrication is most popular with the food and grocery retailers and the retail industry that need a one-stop solution to all their plastic shopfitting needs.
Common processes include cutting (routing or laser), heat bending, printing, engraving, and gluing. Mills does all of this, and has the added benefit of vaccuum forming with our new equipment installation.
Card holders are used by retailers to ensure their products are labelled correctly and are an essential product in the retail industry. Card holders are usually plastic or acrylic and can stand on their own to be displayed in any retail environment. Card holders can come in a variety of sizes but are usually A5 and A6 and can be customised at the retailer’s request. Card holders usually carry the product description of all items that may need be displayed in store.
Pricing guns are used by retailers to ensure their products are priced correctly, and they are essential to the success of a retailer’s business. Pricing guns label products with price stickers that generally dispense stickers from a roll. Pricing guns are a speedy way of marking items or re-marking items that are on sale. Large retailers such as supermarkets may choose to label the shelf instead of the product.
A good display rack is durable, functional and minimalist. Most commonly utilised in fashion outlets, display racks are freestanding displays, usually movable and often modular.
Display racks refers to the racks fitted inside retail environments that are used to ensure the retail space is fully furnished. Display racks can be customised for the retailer’s needs and will usually come in a pack containing a range of display rack products as selected by the retailer.
Digital printing, especially wide format digital printing has continued to encroach on screen printing’s traditional purview. As ink costs fall, machines get faster for less capital outlay, the minimum run sizes before screen becomes economical continues to rise.
Digital printing is based on a digital-based media which is then printed on a variety of media. Digital printing usually requires high volume laser or inkjet printers and has a higher cost than traditional printing methods. Digital printing is ideal for large-scale printing needs that need to be high quality and often for professional use. Digital printing is frequently used by retailers for their visual display needs.
Display fittings are all the items in store which makes merchandise scream ‘buy me!’ It should be practical, efficient and let the product do the talking. It should fill the space but not clutter. It should align with retail design and strategy and ensure merchandise remains the hero. Display fitting as a process can be specialised for food and grocery retailers as well as electronic and fashion retailers. Most fittings are generic, produced out of metal, plastic or wood, however it’s common to custom manufacture the display fittings to fit the particular retail environment.
When fitting out any store with display fittings, find the right balance between cost, effectiveness, durability (in relation to the desired lifecycle) and most importantly, the interaction of the display fitting with the visual merchandising strategy.
Steve Jobs and Apple have given a lot to the world, none of which is going to be re-covered here.
Of all the great things they have done though, that which will have the biggest impact on retail environments is surely how people now interact with products. Touch, swipe and pinch have become so ingrained and almost instinctive to so many of us that they are expected to be present in just about everything we do.
At the recent Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas there was a lot to be impressed by from a signage perspective. All the major players were there, showcasing their latest, greatest and most certainly very impressive products. One of the standouts being the ultra high definition screen technologies that display image quality almost too good to be true.
However, the stands or displays that managed to acquire that most valuable of trade show commodities, booth dwell time, all had one thing in common – Interactivity. And it is in this aspect of digital signage that the future success of a retail environment appears to lie.
By way of demonstration, a few days ago I was in one of the major consumer electronics retailers, again looking at the impressive range of screen technologies. A few meters away from me were a Mother with two children, around 8 and 4, checking out the televisions and the one that caught their eye was not just any television, but one that looked like it could cost more than a small car.
Within the first few seconds of seeing the TV the youngest child walked up to it with wide eyes and, to his mother’s horror, touched the screen. Nothing happened. Instant disengagement.
He turned around and said to his brother “this one doesn’t work properly lets go play on the iPads” and off the whole family went.
And in that example seems to lie the untapped well for traditional retailers. The goal is obviously not to be interactive; the goal is engagement and conversion.
Things that are now possible in so many new ways through our now instinctive actions of touch, swipe and pinch.
The show certainly demonstrated many ways in which this could be achieved and if you are interested in seeing some more pictures and video please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Most retailers know they need to take advantage of the amazing trends in mobile commerce. They instinctively understand that smart phones in the hands of their shoppers can be either a huge threat or a huge opportunity, but determining which one depends on the retailer embracing the technology. The problem is, it's complicated and expensive to get right, let alone get wrong. We were recently introduced to Street Hawk, a new mobile app developed in Australia which helps retailers communicate stock items of interest and other specials to opt-in shoppers in the vicinity, and well worth checking out. For information, read the recent articles in inside retailing (http://www.insideretailing.com.au/IR/IRnews/New-app-helps-shoppers-track-likes-5086.aspx) and internet retailing (http://internetretailing.com.au/streethawk-app-drives-shoppers-into-stores.html) or contact Street Hawk's CEO, Natasha Rawlings (email@example.com)
Supermarkets around the world are embracing cross-merchandising. First, let's look at what it is in a supermarket-context. Cross-merchandising is when you sell one product with a complimentary product from a different category. A perfect example is salsa, fresh avocados, limes, spanish onions and corn chips. Are there any negatives? Definitely: 1. Difficult way-finding. In the example above, one expects to find corn chips with other snack foods, not in the fresh produce area. 2. Stock duplication. Assuming you get around point 1 by holding the products in the traditional location and the cross-merchandise display, then you have the problem of duplicated stock holding. 3. Space. Cross merchandising is a lot more than stacking the complimentary products next to each other. The display itself is a key ingredient to the success of the promotion. This generally means floor space dedicated to the promotion. Add in the issue of stock duplication, procuring the display, and ouch - it's costly! So why do it? Is it so valuable to sell some corn chips when you're selling avocados for $4 each? The answer lies hidden in point 3.... So let's turn to the benefits: Theatre. The days of supermarkets, and other retailers more generally, throwing as much product into a confined space and flogging it are so far gone, that we should be ashamed to even bring it up (and we are). Today's leading supermarkets involve specialist concessions (fresh pizza, sushi, patisseries, etc). Is their floor space justified by the sales? No way! Do they bring people into the store? Yes way! The same goes for cross-merchandising. How often do we walk past avocados in a supermarket (from our trusty example) and think of fresh guacamole? Rarely, if we're being honest. As we trudge through the store, running down our scrumpled paper with groceries scrawled on it, perhaps a child or two reaching the end of their tethers (and ours), we're probably not in the zone of creativity and experimentation. Someone needs to do the thinking for us. That's where the retailer comes in: by going the extra mile past of having some recipe cards in various locations and giving us appealing presentations of food and groceries that inspire us to try something tastier, healthier, fresher or just plain different. This brings us back to negative point 3. The presentation itself has to appeal. The display is integral to this: on the one hand it can't detract or distract from the products, and on the other hand it must be succeed in bringing the combination to life. The result? More sales of avocados, more sales of chips, and most importantly, more shoppers!
London-based retail consultancy Echo Chamber (www.echochamber.com) has named Loblaws as the world's best supermarket. Partner and renown presenter (entertainer?) Howard Saunders says: 'This brand new Loblaws in Toronto makes the design of the mighty Eataly look pedestrian and begs the question: is this the world's best supermarket? Our answer is yes.' Even more impressive is that the Canadian-based chain was redesigned by Australia's very own Mark Landini, of Landini Associates (www.landiniassociates.com). See below for pictures (courtesy of Echo Chamber) of a truly unique supermarket environment.
The annual POPAI awards for 2012 were held at a gala event in Sydney last week. This years awards saw the largest amount of entries from across the marketing at retail spectrum, with those from members and non-members being accepted for the first time. The result was an impressive array of entries for the judges to pick and choose from and below we have just highlighted some of our favourites. To be fair, this list could have been twice as long so a full list of the entrants, a description of the displays and the award winners can be found at http://www.popai.com.au/awards/2012. Congratulations from us to all those who walked away with Indians. Corona Portable Bar by Active/Adval Corona's above the line tag is "From a place you'd rather be" and this display carries that message through perfectly. Even in the middle of a trade show hall, with no product to sell or display, it still felt like a place you would want to stand and have a chat Red Bull Formula
One Pit Stop – iCandy Creative
We've all been there, that mind numbingly boring task of filling up your car while staring at grime covered pictures of 2 for $5 chewing gum. So any display that turns that into an engaging experience is always going to be onto a winner. Life size pit crews, grid lines on the tarmac and quality POS all achieve that very well Target Denim Fit Stand – Sumo Visual Group
we highlighted the overwhelming emphasis on "its all about me" and this display does just that. Step in, get a full body scan and walk away with product suggestions to pick up and pay for. Goodbye change rooms, hello more time for me.
CUB Hot Spot Liquor Display – Advantage Line
A display and idea that gets it's brilliance from its simplicity. When your target customer is a bloke that would rather be barbecuing and watching footy than spending any time in the shops, this display means they are in and out without in no time. All the while while making sure the important stuff like location and pricing details are obvious. The sister product to this that does the same job in cool rooms is excellent too L'Oreal Colorburst Lip Butter Floor Stand – Pop This, Pop That
A display that does everything that it's meant to; highlight a new product using quality POS, position it as premium and make it easy to throw one in the shopping basket. Oral B Touch and Learn Stand – POP Impact
A display that is interactive and engaging in a supermarket environment is tough. This one gets everything right. Digital screens and being able to pick the product up and use it (not fully of course) make it stand out. Even incorporating the practical considerations of moving it with a pallet jack into the design were not overlooked. I overheard someone say "Oral B are the Apple of oral care". Can't add to that really Jack Daniel's Summertime Harley Promotion – id8 Studio
Being a perennial contender for awards is always harder than just winning one or two. The Jack Daniel's displays seem to be there every year and every year they are excellent in achieving their objectives so couldn't leave one off this list Once again, the full list with detailed descriptions is availiable at http://www.popai.com.au/awards/2012
Online sourcing, emailed newsletters/trade journals, and targeted search-related advertising have all put pressure on the traditional trade show model, and it's no surprise that many long running trade shows in Australia are struggling (Retail Expo, anyone??) One trade show that continually bucks this trend is Fine Food. As Fine Food Melbourne 2012 wraps up, it's a perfect time to look back on the show and ask the wider question, how can an exhibitor get the most out of their trade show attendance, and specifically, drawing visitors to your display. There are many great articles that humble even the most prepared and proactive exhibitor (we love this post by Steve Blank), but we're focussing here just on your display. A great trade show needs to blend the right mix of brand promotion, product display and functionality. Regular visitors to Mills Display stands in the past will attest to our less-than-ideal result, where we tried to cram a representative of every product across our 3,000 SKU range. The pendulum can swing too far the other way where at best a visitor will make the effort to visit an esoteric, perhaps even surrealist-inspired stand, just to find out what you do (and for every visitor who bothers to do this, imagine how many thousands don't). Fine Food Melbourne 2012 was our most successful show ever. Of course it helps that we can design and build our own stands in house (and we'd love to do the same for you too - just ask!) but the principle is that it's an effort that draws in staff from across the business to a project everyone can get behind. Management to Sales to Design to Manufacturing: it's one of the most rewarding times of the year. The result: an antique refrigerator straight out of a 1950's diner refurbished with LED strip lights, with a clear acrylic side showcasing our brand new and world-beating gravity fed system (Waveflo). Add to that a beautiful fire-engine-red push bike, retro flooring, pre-printed 'capability bags' and a lolly-dispenser to die for (or at least single-handedly alienate the entire Melbourne University Dental School). You know you've created an engaging stand when visitors constantly try and purchase your exhibition displays. The lesson for us is that if you can settle on an engaging concept that your whole company can get behind, generating real enthusiasm and interest, that becomes infectious and will transfer to your staff on the stand and the visitors walking by.