KEASBEY, N.J. — Retail displays that command attention, connect with shoppers, convey information and close the sale are upping the ante across perimeter departments and in Center Store.
A farmers’ market-type setup re-created across ShopRite’s produce departments to raise awareness of its locally sourced initiative hits all four points.
The campaign’s 7.5-by-8-foot barn display that houses bins of colorful produce is so substantial it can be seen throughout the store and even from the parking lot in some locations. Though large in size, the structure doesn’t take up any additional floor space since it wraps around freestanding wooden crates.
A down-home feel carries through to handwritten signs that detail who the farmer is and where the fruits and vegetables were grown. Wooden crates placed beneath bag dispensers reinforce the message at the final touch point before product is selected.
The display resonates with ShopRite consumers who’ve indicated through loyalty data that high-quality fresh produce is key.
“The farmstand merchandising was new last year and so popular with customers that we brought it back again this year,” said spokeswoman Santina Stankevich. “It’s a great way to draw attention to and highlight local produce.”
Indeed, the judges of the Path to Purchase Institute’s Design of the Times awards were so convinced of its merit, they honored ShopRite operator Wakefern Food Corp. with the Best of the Times award.
Wakefern’s entry beat out hundreds of submissions spanning retail channels from food to consumer electronics. Most were entered by CPG companies and their design firm partners.
In-store displays were evaluated on how well they met the 4C’s of effective in-store activation: command attention, connect with consumers, convey information and close the sale.
Representatives from Target, Supervalu, ConAgra Foods, Kellogg Co. and dozens more scored submissions — first on Aug. 10 at Target headquarters in Minneapolis — and again last month in the Gallery at the Path to Purchase Institute’s Shopper Marketing Expo in Chicago.
ShopRite’s structure did not just impress the judges. Attendees were so taken with the design they grabbed their colleagues in order to be the first to show them on the show floor, said Bill Schober, editorial director of the Path to Purchase Institute’s Shopper Marketing Magazine.
“There is just something about it that attracts your attention,” he told SN. “It gives the feel of a farmers’ market inside a cold and clinical supermarket.”
The display’s size also gave it a leg up on submissions from suppliers who don’t have the retail environment at their disposal like supermarkets do.
“The brands might say, ‘Boy, what we could do with that amount of space,’” Schober said. “[Retailers] are granted a lot more room than, say, a Dole might be able to score, so they do have a bit of an advantage.”
Center Store suppliers were represented on winners lists across several award categories.
The Coca-Cola Co. won a platinum award in the specialty category for its Coca-Cola Freestyle drink machine, described by Schober as “a game changer.”
The fountain dispensers that can be found in 4,200 locations including Wegmans Food Markets, allow users to access 100 branded beverages within two points of interaction — first they select a parent brand and then make their drink choice.
“As a point of purchase display is it atypical? You bet, but the thinking behind this is so breakthrough it stands out as a model,” noted Schober.
What makes Coca-Cola Freestyle unique is its ability to provide data regarding customer selections. Integrated technology captures consumption information by the minute, providing a state of the art way to test and improve new beverages.
Another beverage company — MillerCoors — received a gold award in the supermarket/grocery category for Molson Canadian’s “Only One is Worthy of the Cup” packaging and display.
Molson Canadian is the official imported beer of the NHL, which gave it a special opportunity to reach fans during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
As part of the campaign that ran in grocery, liquor and convenience stores across Canada and U.S. border states, fans were given a chance to attend the NHL Awards and spend a moment with the Cup.
“Our research showed that the avid fan is completely immersed in NHL hockey during the Stanley Cup Playoffs,” read the entry form submitted by marketing firm, Arc Worldwide. “They embrace the lore associated with the coveted Stanley Cup trophy and its unique history.”
To publicize the contest and play up the mystique, Molson Canadian placed the Stanley Cup image on the corner of boxes. It was done in such a way that when placed next to another case to form a secondary display, it created the illusion of the actual Stanley Cup on packaging.
“They took something that was relatively low cost, actually about as low cost as you can get in merchandising, and created a powerful unified image,” Schober said.
Compliance was high since the iconic trophy on packaging served as a guide for how cases should be displayed.
“It’s a classic point of purchase technique but it was done so thoughtfully that it idiot-proofed the stacking,” said Schober. “Anyway you laid it out, it looked cool.”
Also recognized with gold awards in the supermarket/grocery category were Johnson & Johnson for its Band-Aid and Neosporin display; Unilever for its Lipton Tea & Honey Freestanding display; and Nestlé for its Connecting the Dots entry.
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