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National supermarket embraces retail-ready packaging

PICK n Pay have partnered with global supply-chain solutions company CHEP to trial and launch innovative retail-ready packaging (RRP) platforms in its stores across the country.

RRP is an innovative last-mile solution that allows products to be moved from factory floor to the store floor on a single pallet, to be delivered either directly within a shelf, in an aisle, or as a freestanding unit.

These retail platforms offer a customisable solution for manufacturers and retailers that minimises touchpoints, reduces damage and drives sales in retail stores, with positive environmental impacts. The platforms are smaller “fractional pallets” that include a protective cardboard wrapping, doubling as an in-store branding and marketing opportunity.

The challenge

Traditionally, a category like, for example, sugar involves a lot of handling along the supply chain and this can cause inefficiency, damages and unnecessary waste for both retailers and suppliers.

It is also difficult for brands to attract the attention of shoppers in a shelf environment, where products are commoditised, with little way of differentiating themselves to customers.

“Pick n Pay wanted to address these issues and approached us to find a viable solution,” explains Conor Powell, Last Mile Solutions Manager at CHEP Sub-Sahara Africa.

The solution

“Our retail-ready packaging solution protects goods as they move through the supply chain, but also saves time and resources. These can also be used to merchandise products in store. Technically speaking – an all in one solution,” says Powell.

RRP trials were first conducted at Pick n Pay stores in Gauteng. The platform performed above expectations in driving efficiencies, reducing damages, and lowering the carbon footprint of packaging to create cost savings along the supply chain.

Delving into consumer behaviour

To further test the solution, CHEP partnered with Neural Sense, a neuromarketing company that uses consumer neuroscience to understand consumer behaviour. Shoppers were fitted with mobile eye-tracking glasses to see what grabbed their attention and how they visually navigated the store environment, as well as galvanic skin response sensors to measure their level of emotional arousal during the shopping experience.

The tests showed that the branded retail-ready packaging attracted significant attention in-store (outperforming other point-of-sale activities), provided a more convenient shopping experience (given the ease at which products could be selected) and overall 67% of shoppers preferred to shop from the palleted retail-ready packaging compared to standard shelving displays.

The new platforms are installed on reusable 900 x 600 mm CHEP pallets that are returned to suppliers as part of the company’s circular-economy, share-and-reuse model – a business model that has seen CHEP rated the most sustainable company in the world in the Dow Jones Barron sustainability rankings.

“We chose to launch our Last Mile Solutions with sugar, a known-value item,” said Powell. “These products move quickly and are more likely to be affected by damage or slower replenishment. Within the first two months of piloting the solutions with Pick n Pay, they saw a significant reduction in product damage.”

“We are excited that our new solutions have been well received by shoppers and our partners at Pick n Pay,” he added.

“This solution can boost efficiency for retailers, manufacturers and other service providers but also fulfils a marketing and display function,” said Powell.  “We look forward to working with our partners to customise this offering even further.”

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