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Retailing advice

  • Christmas Point of Sale – time to start planning

    Christmas point of saleFor customers it seems that Christmas arrive earlier every year – but for retailers it is always an almost year round operation. And this is the time of year to plan your Christmas point of sale.

    Retailers in particular need to use this time to turn back the tide to internet and discount shopping.

    To start your planning, determine what you want your Christmas point of sale to achieve. Communicate clear messages about your stock, prices and offers, of course. But Christmas is a boom time for footfall and effective Christmas point of sale display will help you retain those customers and hopefully create long-term & valuable relationships.

    From a practical point of view, it is likely that you’ll have lots more stock, a bigger range and faster turnover of products without any additional space. So you’ll need the Christmas point of sale to tell more messages in less space. Think of using smaller sign holders and ticket holders, shelf talkers and wobblers to make the most of available space. Ensure signs, posters and tickets are clear & professional looking.

    create clear POS Remember the customer journey begins outside your store so make sure all external space is used – from a traditional pavement signs to effective window displays and communications that are updated regularly throughout the season.

    Christmas is the time for good will to all men & great cross-selling. Use your Christmas POS to upsell, cross-sell and highlight related products across the branch. Use display and promotion areas to maximise these sales activities. Christmas is about gifting so make gift options easy to see & create added income through gift packs and selections.

    Effective Christmas Point of Sale

    POS is for life, not just for Christmas. With so many cost-effective point of sale products, it will not break the marketing budget when ordering extra & they will last season after season so treat your store to the gift that keeps on giving. To be most effective, planning is essential.

  • Even before the goods hit the store, have a clear idea of what product lines will be promoted and the messaging around them.
  • Use a theme, colour or typography to link all your season stock and promotions. Work with your local printer to create some visually strong point of sale collateral.
  • Plan your upsells and cross sells – how will POS achieve this?
  • Plan gifting opportunities & the POS to support this.
  • Plan longer term goals of customer retention – how will POS achieve this?
  • How will POS link with online and social media activity?
  • Merry Christmas point of saleChristmas Point of Sale is for life

    As we said earlier for retailers Christmas is not just the busiest time of the year it should also be generated a disproportionate amount of the annual turnover. That’s not the same as profit and again POS can help foreground higher margin products and brands as well as create additional revenue streams with gifting opportunities etc.

    More importantly retailers can use the massive increase in foot flow and spend to create long term customer relations. Use some of your available space to promote your brand, not just your product range. Create an environment that customers will want to return to throughout the year. Promote instore events and activities and use POS to promote loyalty programme and newsletter opps.

  • Buyers Guides offer helpful hints and top tips from point of sale supplier

    buyers guides from point of sale supplierAs a leading UK point of sale supplier, Wrights Plastics GPX offer 1000s of high quality POS and retail display products – and our newly launched Buyers’ Guides are designed to help you choose the right product every time.

    With 1000s of POS products to choose from, we realise making an informed decision can be difficult so our Guides offer practical help in choosing the perfect product. Full of practical tips and helpful advice they are perfect for retailers, hoteliers & caterers, exhibition sector as well as shopfitters and retail designers.

    As well helping you as a step-by-step guide to helping you choose the right product we also offer some helpful aftercare help – and even make your budget stretch even further.

    The first group of buyers’ guides include snap frames buyers guide, brochure holders buyers guide and shelf talkers buyers guide– and we’ll keep adding them throughout the year.

    Help from the UK’s leading point of sale supplier

    We manufacture 90% of our product range ourselves so we are the expert point of sale supplier. Since 1969 we have been working with 100s of customers to supply POS designed to be boost sales and build brand – all at an affordable cost.

    We used this experience to create the guides. With so many products on offer it can appear to be difficult to select the correct product. But by deciding on size, location, cost etc it becomes much easier to make the right choice. And keeping these products well maintained will make them an even better investment.

    And we always have lots of really easy ways to make your budget go further – from 10% off your 1st order to massive bulk-buy discounts.

    The guides can be accessed here http://www.gpxgroup.com/pos-buyers-guides

  • Shelf talkers & how to use them effectively

    Using shelf talkers is a fine balance between too little and too much but our handy guide will help you make the most of your shelf talkers.
    Over use of shelf talkers risks information overload, and important product, brand and pricing messages get overlooked as customers cannot make out the wood for the trees. Too few shelf talkers and you miss out on great opportunities to sell, upsell and cross sell, and generally improve sales and profits.

    Our easy to action guide to making the most of your shelf talkers

    Clear shelf talkers Bold typography and imagery help make an effective shelf talker

    Update regularly. Information soon becomes stale and customers easily overlook messages that remain unchanged for a number of days, so ensure you update talkers regularly.
    Keep it brief. Ensure messages are brief and to the point. Don’t mix messages.
    Sell benefits. It’s the oldest cliché in the marketing book but always sell benefits not features. So while a product selling for a £1 is always good news, it is even better if it ‘our lowest price ever’ or ‘while stocks last’ or ‘limited stock’ or ‘lowest price locally’ – these are the reasons to push people into making a buying decision.
    Be bold. Make sure everything can be seen clearly. Use clear, large fonts and introduce colour to make sure your message is seen. Add images if possible. Try handwriting messages for a personalised look. Use humour (with care) and local knowledge to create compelling messages that make your store stand out from the crowd. Use personal recommendations from you & the team to create a less generic feel to the store.

    Colour Co-ordinate. Try using different colours for different types of messages – green for prices reductions, red for new products & blue for product features etc.

    Use different shelf talkers. Shelf talkers are cheap and durable. They are manufactured in many different formats so you can vary your display and make the most of the space available by using talkers that fit on, below and above shelves.

    Personalised Shelf Talkers Personal recommendations can increase sales & support branding

    Link to other instore marketing. If you are featuring products or offers on A-boards, window displays and signage then shelf talkers need to be the final link in this marketing chain, a final confirmation to the customer that they have reached the promoted product & a final chance to emphasise the marketing message.

  • How to protect your business from shoplifters

    Wrights GPX Shoplifting Infographic

    What is the problem?

    Shoplifting costs the retail sector hundreds of millions of pounds in lost revenue each year. The effects of this can range from increasing the costs of goods for the customer to putting stores out of business completely. Shoplifting is a hard nut to crack and is not something that will be eliminated in the near future. There are, however, a wide range of measures that even small businesses on a tight budget can take to significantly reduce the problem. Have a look at our infographic for more stats about shoplifting and read our guide below to find out what can be done to protect your business.

    What do shoplifters look for?

    The first step towards reducing shoplifting is to understand what shoplifters look for, so you will know if your business is an easy target. We spoke to PS Andy Grapsas of the Surrey Police, which had one of the most improved shoplifting rates between 2013 and 2014. He told us what thieves look for when looking for a target:

    -     Shops with high shelving that obscures the shopkeepers’ view

    -     High value products within close proximity to entrances and exits

    -     Lack of CCTV or security staff

    -     Lack of visible staff or shopkeepers

    -     No security barriers or tags

    -     Poor lighting

    -     Busy stores or a poor staff to customer ratio

    -     Blind spots that can’t be overseen by staff from a distance

    What do shoplifters look like?

    There’s no one-size-fits-all look for a shoplifter, but depending on the techniques they use to steal from your shop, you need to need to know the red flags suggested by PS Grapsas:

    -     Inappropriate clothing like long coats in warmer weather are perfect for concealing stolen goods

    -     Carrying shopping bags from other shops

    -     Entering your store in pairs and then splitting up once inside

    -     Loitering in high value property aisles

    -     Carrying large, empty bags into the shop that they may then fill with stolen items

    What should you do to reduce the problem?

    PS Grapsas advised that some stores are more vulnerable to the financial impact of shoplifting than others. Businesses need to weigh up the cost of shoplifting versus the cost of prevention measures, and also the impact on sales. For example, some large shops keep displays of higher value goods near the door to attract customers in and boost sales. Smaller shops might want to keep high value products further away from the door when they can’t easily absorb the cost of shoplifting.

    The two main areas to consider when reducing shoplifting rates in your business are the design and layout of the store and your staff. Below is a range of ideas to suit all budgets to tackle the problem.

    Store design and layout

    -     Keep high value products away from entrances and exits

    -     Install CCTV or hire a security guard. A cheaper option can be to give the impression of having CCTV, even if you don’t.

    -     Make sure your premises are well lit

    -     Attach security tags to all items. A cheaper option is to forgo the security barriers and just attach tags to items. They may not work, but still may put off potential thieves

    -     Make sure you have good vantage points for staff and add mirrors for full visibility into any areas that can’t be seen

    -     Put items that are easy to shoplift close to the checkout where you can keep a close eye on them

    -     Maintain a good line of sight to sections of your store where desirable items are displayed

    -     Use packaging that is hard to conceal

    -     Put up signs stating your policy about prosecuting shoplifters

    -     Alternating clothing hanger directions makes grabbing a large amount of clothing and running away much more difficult

    -     Lock high-value items in security cabinets and ensure access to the contents is supervised

    Staff training

    -     Ensure all staff receive proper training about how to look for shoplifters and what to do if they see someone stealing

    -     Greet customers as they enter the store. Giving attentive customer service

    will put off thieves as they don’t have the privacy needed to conceal items

    -     Instead of staying at the tills, get staff to regularly wander around the shop floor, tidying, interacting with customers and watching what’s happening

    -     Ensure changing rooms are manned at all times and that staff are careful to count the number of items taken in and out, not just the number of hangers they see

    Should you prosecute shoplifters?

    Yes. Always. Many shoplifters go unprosecuted and continue to reoffend, costing your own and other businesses even more money. Sometimes a prosecution can be enough of an unpleasant consequence as to stop someone stealing again.

    How is shoplifting investigated?

    PS Grapsas told us that shoplifting cases are investigated by checking CCTV to find footage of the incident taking place. Descriptions of the suspects are also taken and their modus operandi (MO) will be looked at. The MO can sometimes point towards particular offenders who may be prevalent in that area. Some will work in pairs, use distraction techniques, steal charity boxes, etc. so consistent use of those techniques can help police to identify who has been involved.

    The take home message

    Shoplifting won’t be eliminated, but there are many ways to significantly reduce the issue, even on a budget. The key is to weigh up the cost of shoplifting versus the cost of any preventative measures you take. Your staff can make the biggest difference to your shoplifting rates, so providing proper training and management should be the top priority. Finally, when the worst does happen, always prosecute as it may well turn the offender’s behaviour around and help to protect your business in the long- term.

  • Does your new staff know the value of retail display?

    Great news. The Grocer Magazine this week reported that retail employment enjoyed the strongest growth since 2009 in the second quarter of 2013. The respected publication reported that figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) showed that retail employment rose by 3.7% in the second quarter when compared with a year earlier. Sixteen percent of retailers surveyed – predominantly food retailers – said they planned to increase staffing levels over the next three months, compared with 13% last year, while 4% said they would decrease staffing levels in the same period – on a par with last year. Continue reading

  • Point of Sale can boost magazine sales

    Lads magazines covered by paper bagsThis month’s controversy over the retail display of ‘lads’ magazines has reminded many retailers of the value of magazines to their businesses. Although overall sales may be declining, they remain an important element for many independent retailers – and effective point of sale can help increase sales and bring many other benefits. Continue reading

  • Are you making the most of your slatwall display?

    Photo of slatwall displayFor years retailers have known that slatwall display system offer a stylish and cost-effective display system for a wide range of shops. Easy to fit, extend and allowing complete flexibility for displays, another advantage for retailers is that shelving options have quickly caught up with latest product ranges, consumer behaviour and display trends. We have developed and manufacture one of the UK’s largest selections of slatwall shelves – many created in response to requests from retailers or to display the latest must have gadgets and products. Continue reading

  • Is your store ready for the Poundland challenge?

    Cartoon of Poundland shopNews this month that Poundland intend to open 11 stores in eleven days is bound to prove a mixed blessing for local independent retailers, but every challenge brings an opportunity and we believe that retailers can use their experience, imagination and effective retail display and point of sale to fight back. Continue reading

  • Embracing change is the key to retail success

    One recent idea from a seminar presented by leading retail guru John Stanley really made people sit up and pay attention: the world of retailing will change more in the next five years than it has in the past 100. Continue reading

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