Today’s demands on shelf-ready packaging (sometimes called retail-ready shippers) have become the hot topic in corrugated point-of-purchase display cases. Speaking today at the 2011 IADD*FSEA Odyssey in Nashville, David Couture, display design manager with Rock-Tenn Corp., and Tom Sporleder of diemaker Printron Steel Rule Die gave some insights into the latest developments.
The traits of a successful retail-ready shipper? They are easy…as in easy to identifiy on the shelf; easy to open; easy for store staff to replenish; easy for the consumer to shop from them; and easy to dispose of when empty (hopefully for recycling).
Among the market drivers: Successful applications across Europe through retailers such as Tesco and Asda are making Walmart in the US and Canada add them to their “must” list; they provide good cost savings through lower labor demands by store personnel as well as supply-chain efficiencies; they benefit consumers with better on-shelf availability and visibility of products; and for CPCs, they provide good shopper marketing, eye-catching graphics through things such as litho-lamination, brand blocking on the shelf and ultimately, better sales.
Tips for converters: Any retail-ready shipper must be cost-neutral to the CPC; it is NOT always effective in all packaging applications; all perforations are not created equal to convert a clean-tearing package; the diecutting blankets employed must be nearly new (variations will only vary the end result); partner with a die supplier experienced in retail-ready shippers; and the right combination of dieboards, rules, dies, blankets and pressures are needed to end problems with perforated-box failure prior to placing it on the store shelf.
Fortunately, some standardization is available: Mostly based on rotary diecutting research rather than flatbed-platen, standards are set for flute and cutting angle with two or three variations. As Sporleder says, “We can say what works and what to avoid because it doesn’t work.”