Archive for June, 2010

Point of sale display to boost understanding of whisky age labels

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

A campaign will be launched at the start of July to raise awareness of age labels on whisky, according to Foodnews.

Recent research found that the majority of consumers didn’t understand age labels on whisky bottles. The Chivas Brothers are launching a campaign on the 1st of July, with the help of point-of-sale equipment and in-store adverts, to encourage people to better understand and look for these age statements on Scotch whisky.

The drive was prompted by results of the Chivas Brothers’ commissioned research which discovered that only 10% of people understand age statements refer to the youngest whiskey in the bottle. Whilst 94% of people believe the label is an indicator of quality, almost half thought it meant the average age of whisky and over a third thought it represented the oldest whisky.

Discussing the results, Christian Porta, CEO and chairman of Chivas Brothers Ltd, said: “When you’re in the business of making quality aged whiskies, that’s a surprise, but it’s also an opportunity to inform consumers.”

The campaign will be extended across the world and will be using point of sale displays to remind consumers what the labels mean. Porta said: “At the end of the day what we are doing is explaining to the consumer why those whiskies with a precise age statement are worth paying the price they are being asked to pay.”

“It’s because they are rare, it has taken a long time and much skill to age them and mature them in Scotland, whilst also losing a large portion through the evaporation or the ‘angel’s share’,” he explained.

Tobacco company in legal action to stop display ban

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Imperial Tobacco is taking legal action to overturn plans to stop the tobacco retail display ban in Scotland, according to The Guardian.

The tobacco company claims that the Scottish parliament, who approved the ban earlier this year, doesn’t have the legislative reach to prohibit such displays. Imperial Tobacco claims this is an attempt to regulate the sale and supply of goods to consumers, the right to do which is reserved by the Westminster parliament. It also affects the freedom of trade provisions between England and Scotland, which the devolved parliament in Scotland is prevented from doing so by law.

The tobacco giant began similar legal proceedings to block the ban in England and Wales earlier this year.

According to The Daily Express, Imperial is the world’s fourth largest tobacco firm. In April they posted half-yearly profits of £1.2 billion and argued that the ban will force shopkeepers out of business and criminalise more.

A spokeswoman from ASH Scotland, the anti-smoking group, said: “This looks like a delaying tactic from a multinational that puts profit ahead of lives.”

However, the Lord Advocate, Elish Angiolini QC, says the tobacco display ban is legal. She said the legislation was part of a programme to improve health in Scotland by reducing smoking, which kills 13,500 Scots a year and is the single most preventable cause of premature death.

Gareth Davis, chief executive at Imperial, said: “If this misguided legislation is implemented it will simply fuel the growth in the illicit trade of tobacco and create a huge cost burden for retailers who are already under considerable pressure.”

The legal challenge will be heard in the Scottish civil courts this week. The Scottish government said it plans to “rigorously defend” the legislation.



Technology for Taking Surveys and Polling at Trade Fairs

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Thanks to the popularity of smart phones, mobile apps now represent the fastest growing segment of the software market.  Here are some of the leading mobile apps for taking surveys and polling attendees at trade fairs and exhibitions:

Validar (

Validar has a mobile application that provides surveys via text message.  You can query trade fair attendees about what they are seeing at the exhibition that excites them, or how they respond to your product offerings. Attendees can respond to your survey via smart phone, regular cell phone or PDA. One big benefit of the Validar app is that it allows you to ask more than one question in each text message.

Zuku (

Zuku is similar to Validar in that is provides low-cost text messaging (SMS) polling and the ability to ask questions and receive answers in real time.

PollEverywhere (

PollEverywhere has polling and Q&A capabilities, and is also able to integrate with Twitter. Plus, you can try it for free for up to 30 responses.

NearPod (

A mobile app for Apple’s iPod Touch and iPad provides you with the ability to conduct surveys, collect data, host an interactive presentation and hold giveaway promotions by interacting live with your audience.

Learn more about how you can turn your exhibition stand at your next trade fair into an interactive customer experience by visiting the Discount Displays website or calling on 0844 800 1020.

Council throws Christmas party in July

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Christmas will be celebrated early in one English town, as the council is throwing a Christmas party in July.

For three days at the end of month, Rotherham town centre will be given the Christmas feel complete with artificial snow, decorations, fairy lights and festive themed shop displays.

A hotel will be offering customers turkey dinners and Christmas pudding, whilst shop windows will dressed with the kind of retail display usually found in December. Even bar staff are expected to get into the festive spirit by wearing Christmas themed outfits at work.

The eye catching event was launched in a bid to boost trade in the town centre, but some locals have condemned the Christmas party calling it ’crazy’. The event, promotes July 30 as Christmas Eve and July 31 as New Year’s eve.

Lee Mills, a bar manager and chairman of Rotherham Licence Watch, came up with the idea. He argues the celebrations will bring much needed fun at a time of stress caused by financial pressure.

“The idea is to do something novel and create a spectacle to bolster trade for the night time economy and show visitors what we can offer when we all work together,” he was cited as saying in The Daily Mail.

Rotherham Council plans to spend £4,000 on the illuminations and £1,000 on advertising the Christmas party.

“As with most town centre economies, Rotherham is struggling. People might say why aren’t you spending the money on potholes or other areas, but this brings people into the town centre and will have long-term benefits,” continued Mr Mills.

Tobacco shop display ban rejected by foreign parliaments

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Retailers in New Zealand have welcomed the decision of the Danish and Swedish parliament in the rejecting of proposals to ban tobacco shop displays.

Roger Bull, chairman of the New Zealand Association of Convenience Stores (NZACS) was cited on a New Zealand news website Scoop as saying: “Retailers throughout New Zealand are now asking why the Ministry of Health is continuing to push ahead with proposals to ban retail displays of tobacco products, when even their overseas counterparts are rejecting this over-zealous idea.”

The NZACS are calling for the Ministry of Health to follow in the footsteps of the Danish Government, who are seeking to improve their tobacco control laws, by changing the minimum age requirements for the sale and purchase of tobacco products.

“NZACS believes the approach taken by the Danish Government could easily be replicated here and calls on the Government to again reject the proposal for a costly, unproven and unnecessary retail display ban,” added Mr Bull.

The news will also be welcomed by corner shopkeepers and newsagents in Britain, who believe a ban on tobacco displays is likely to threaten their business. The National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) said the ban would lead to small shops closing whilst illegal traders prospered.

The British Government recently announced that it was considering whether it was going to uphold plans to ban open displays of tobacco in shop, a proposal originally brought in by the previous government. If the law were to be passed,the ban, which would prohibit open displays of tobacco in shops in England and Wales, would come into force in 2013.

Thornton’s unveils new display units

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Chocolate firm Thornton’s have recently had new freestanding display units manufactured and produced for their new product Thornton’s Melts.

The firm wanted visually striking point of sale displays, that matched the colours of the Melts product’s packaging. The structure and artwork of the stand underwent rigorous testing to ensure it would remain durable not only in situ, but also whilst in transit.

Once Thornton approved the design, the units were printed, with promise of delivery within six weeks. The unit comprises of four shelves, each of which carries numerous packets of Thornton’s Melts.

Eve Roberts, Thornton’s customer marketing manager told Packaging News: “This type of unit is a great way to communicate the brand values via premium cues, colours and design.”

“The display achieved our Melts’ brand objectives of driving awareness and generating trials of the new Melts proposition.”

The chocolate range was launched on January 28 – reportedly the most depressing day of the year.

The confectionery manufacturers decided to opt for metallised biodegradable NatureFlex material to wrap the new product in. Made from wood pulp, Natureflex is suitable for composting because the in house metallising uses less than 0.02 per cent metal, the manufacturer said.

Thornton’s packaging development manager Mark Aitchinson was cited in Packaging News as saying: “We opted for the metallised film as it offers a tight twist-wrap for the product, has an attractive metal finish and protects the flavour and texture of the chocolates. In addition it is being made from sustainable materials.”

Cadbury reveals new display units for travel retail

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Confectionery supplier Cadbury has introduced new travel display units for its chocolate and sugar products in duty free. The company say the units have been designed to increase conversion rates and have been heavily influenced by customer feedback.

The wheeled units are made from premium materials suited to an airport environment and enable flexibility of branding by allowing space for different brand communications on the header, side panels and the front of each shelf.

The shelves on the unit are adjustable and there are also sets of hooks, which can provide the user with further options for customisation.

The company discovered that 85 per cent of confectionery purchases in travel-retail and duty free are on impulse and as a result special display units have been created for chewing gum brands Trident and Stimorol.

In a statement cited on travel-retail website DFNI Online, Cadbury ITR acting general manager, Jo Willey said: “Sales analysis indicates that confectionery sales represent 40 per cent of total cash till area sales and chewing gum delivers half of these sales.

“Cadbury has invested heavily in consumer research over a number of years and we are pleased that we are able to implement the insights gained to provide merchandising units for out customers that will assist them in increasing conversion rates in their stores.”

Consumer research found that 69 per cent of shoppers said brand communication helped them to find and buy confectionery in-store, thus justifying Cadbury’s choice to put branded header images on the displays.

The customer research also determined the shape and chosen colour of the units, gold. The study found that in emerging markets gold connotes luxury, whereas in a developing market it reflects a safe and traditional choice.

Selfridges named best department store in the world

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Selfridges has come out on top beating Bloomingdale’s in New York, to the title of the best department store in the world.

The London flagship store renowned for it’s extravagant window and shop displays is only the second store to win the award, after Saks Fifth Avenue was given the original prize two years ago.

Selfridges fought off stiff competition from Bloomingdale’s and Asian department store Lane Crawford in Hong Kong to win the title, which was decided at the second Global Department Store Summit held in New York.

Paul Kelly, Vice Chairman of Selfridges, said to The Telegraph: “We are delighted to have won this very special award and are very proud of our teams who have all contributed in making this happen.

“This is very much in recognition of all their hard work. This centenary-old brand, built on the most extraordinary heritage, confirms that Selfridges is the most relevant and exciting department store today.”

The competition was judged on each store’s customer service, in-store experience and financial results. The strength of each department store’s brand was also taken into consideration.

The award was given on behalf of the Intercontinent Group of Department Stores, the world’s largest department store association and the International Association of Department Stores.

During the summit, representatives from the world’s retail industry discussed major issues affecting the sector. The conference’s programme looked at how retailers can succeed in the current climate by focusing on products, people and establishing the store as a stage.

Selfridges was founded by George Selfridge in 1909, the company also has stores in Birmingham and Manchester.

“Shop displays of beef flout EU regs” warn producers

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Supermarkets in the UK are ignoring European Union regulations on retail display, warns the National Beef Association.

Farming UK reports that the Association has said it is ‘astonished’ at the widespread flouting of rules on shop displays for beef in the stores of large retailers. They say that many supermarkets are ‘determined’ to continue placing beef from different countries in the same section of retail shelving.

“Some of the most obvious of the illegal displays are in England,” says NBA chief executive Robert Forster, “where shelf edge promotion loudly proclaims that only British beef is on offer [but] closer investigation reveals that small pockets of beef from the Republic of Ireland, Brazil or Argentina are covered by the same promotion material.”

Forster says that such lax visual merchandising “works against the English farmer and the English processor” because retailers mix cheaper imported beef with more expensive domestic products. The NBA says that it also undermines the ability to judge how much consumers are willing to pay for English beef, which often has higher environmental and quality credentials than imported goods.

This practise is against the advice of the Local Authority Co-Ordination Office on Regulatory Services (LACORS) says Forster. Last year LACORS warned retailers that meat from different countries of origin had to be physically separated within retail shop fittings, and that shop displays which suggested all goods were from a single country of origin must adhere to that standard rigidly.


World Cup to transform shop displays across the UK

Monday, June 7th, 2010

UK retailers aim to make the most of the visual merchandising opportunity of the coming World Cup this month, as The Daily Mail reports that high street stores estimate a boost in sales of some £2 billion if England makes it to the final.

Supermarkets and high street stops will likely transform their shop displays to make the most of football fever. According to price comparison site Kelkoo, retailers from the country’s four biggest grocers – Tesco, Sainsbury, Morrisons and Asda – to electrical chains and even home supply stores hope to see a boost in their sales.

The grocery sector will likely see the biggest seasonal change in its retail display strategies. Food and drink is the largest single area of expenditure that will benefit from the World Cup, according to Kelkoo’s survey. Sainsbury’s predicts that pint glass and pizza sales will increase by 500%, whilst Tesco has recently produced a pizza bearing the St George’s flag.

Retailers of electrical products will also take advantage though, as sales of high definition or 3D television sets are expected to soar as the tournament continues. One unexpected area of interest is the home supply store; The Mail reports that B&Q owners Kingfisher is to launch a range of products based upon the visual merchandising of the England football strip, from garden gnomes to wheelbarrows and gazebos.

According to Kelkoo, England’s participation in the quarter finals would bump up sales by an additional £332 million even if the team does not reach the final, which would account for a predicted £692 million in sales. Altogether if England won the World Cup, Kelkoo predicts that there would be an overall £2m boost in incremental spend.