Innovative retail platforms recently launched in stores have emerged as a hygienic sales solution during the safety-conscious pandemic era, while also sustainably providing choice and convenience for South African shoppers.
Retail-ready packaging (RRP) is a supply-chain innovation that allows products to be moved from factory floor to the store floor on a single pallet that has been thoughtfully designed to be delivered either directly within a shelf, in an aisle, or as a freestanding unit.
Since the lockdown, RRP has come into its own as a retail safety solution that provides enhanced hygiene for staff and shoppers alike. The packaging reduces the number of product touchpoints at warehouses, distribution centres and in stores.
CHEP, the supply chain solutions company, provides two RRP solutions, a 900×600 wooden platform and a 600×400 plastic platform. Both allow for innovative branding and seamless shelf integration.
A client sourced, protective cardboard wrapping doubles up as a branding and marketing opportunity in the store. Once the unit is in place, a shop assistant simply tears away the perforated section of the unit to display the products. The solution includes shelf-ready display units for certain stock-keeping units (SKU’s) to make the refill of shelves easy, safe and quick.
The new units minimise replenishment time and merchandising activities for optimal safety. Stock can arrive pre-filled on a CHEP retail pallet. This makes it easy to handle by store staff, or to roll into position using a pallet trolley, with little need for manual work, staff handovers or touching of surfaces. RRP also allows the shopkeeper to move product and displays to different high traffic zones through the day, without having to unpack shelves.
In addition to the safety aspects, retail-ready packaging minimises packing time, and eliminates the need for most secondary packaging, which saves on resources and avoids waste – helping to create a greener supply chain.
“We are pleased to be able to offer our RRP solutions at a time when retailers and customers are looking for life’s essentials with optimal social distancing,” said CHEP South Africa’s In-store Solutions Manager, Conor Powell. “RRP address these needs, while also minimising financial loss through stock breakages, damages and theft as products are transported from their source to the shop floor.” In a survey of its international clients, CHEP found that a major retailer cut replenishment time by 75-80% and boosted sales by 7-8% after adopting retail-ready display platforms.
Mac Mabidilala, Head of Research, Trade Intelligence added, “Retail-Ready Packaging is one of the evolving retail trends we are seeing in 2021 and is poised to accelerate. The growth in convenience stores with their basic layouts and typically lower staffing resources are among the reasons behind the increasing demand for retail-ready packaging. From a supplier perspective, retail-ready packaging is a great way to maintain prominent shelf presence and branding in store formats that are difficult to merchandise, or where merchandising opportunities are not available”.
All CHEP RRP platforms form part of the company’s circular-economy, share-and-reuse model. The business model has seen CHEP rated the second most sustainable company in the world in the 2021 Dow Jones Barron’s sustainability rankings.
“These platforms ensure greater efficiencies and minimise waste, for greater sustainability,” said Powell. “Neuroscience research also indicates that the platforms encourage impulse purchases by consumers and the fewer touchpoints of the end-to-end journey meet the new hygiene needs of today’s shopper.”
In South Africa, the CHEP RRP In-store Solutions were successfully launched with known-value items such as sugar, Powell explained. Smaller 400×600 display pallets can also be deployed in aisles for categories such as snack foods, personal care and home care.
“These products move quickly and are more likely to face material impacts through damage or slower replenishment,” he said. “We were excited that our new solutions have been positively received by shoppers and retailers. We are confident that demand will only increase in these safety- and sustainability-conscious times.”