Leaders of the pack

Our pioneering flat-pack point-of-sale promises to transform the structures we produce for shop floors

With retail back in action, it’s unsurprising that retail brands are returning to point of sale (POS), but are consumers’ behaviours any different?

According to Businesswire, 60% of consumers see sustainability as an important decision driver for their purchases. So, how are brands rising to meet this challenge when selling in store?

Creating sustainable POS

One way in which multiple high street brands have approached the more environmentally conscious shopper is to rethink their in-store POS design in terms of the material it is made of.

While much of the standard POS our Display team makes has excellent environmental credentials, our team knew deep down that more could be done.

Reducing the environmental impact of POS

We came up with two key focus areas when researching how we can significantly improve our environmental impact when creating temporary POS:

  1. Use less material and energy in its manufacture
  2. Make reductions in the transport and distribution network

A POS item we believed could become more sustainable was the three-tier free-standing display unit (FSDU), which is commonly shipped to the store ready assembled. We produce over 100,000 FSDUs a year for clients, with three-tier FSDUs typically distributed between four and six units on a pallet. Thanks to a client’s interest in making their three-tier FSDU units more environmentally friendly, our team was able to start exploring the possibilities. 

Redesigning a temporary FSDU unit

To distribute 500 units of a standard/assembled FSDU requires 1,164kg of CO₂ and six full trucks. We used this target as a benchmark when redesigning this type of FSDU.

Over 18 months, we experimented with several different structures and mechanisms to ensure that store staff could build the FSDU within two minutes; this was a real challenge for our engineers and designers to overcome.

The creative lead from the Display team said, “The real ‘eureka’ moment came with the reduction of size of the outer box for the flat packs. By rethinking all of the internal construction principles, we managed to get 20-plus display units on a pallet – a big jump from the usual six when fully assembled, and also designed a unit that could be assembled by store staff in around one minute.”

Enter the flat-packed FSDU

Flat-packed FSDUs – is it really possible?

The bespoke nature of a three-tier FSDU – with its floating shelves, lack of side panels and 3D factice – means it’s a real challenge to flat pack, but would be ideal for shipping many more units to the stores per pallet, reducing the emissions generated in transit.

By rethinking all the internal construction principles and looking at this problem with a fresh perspective and collaborative approach, we realised we could get 20+ FSDUs on a pallet versus the original six.

The design lead from the Display team said, “After approaching one of our cosmetics clients, we put 11 branded flat-pack FSDUs into stores as a trial and then committed to 1,600 flat-pack FSDUs, replacing all of the fully assembled variations, and the feedback so far has been incredibly positive.”

The environmental impact

To distribute 500 units of the newly revised flat-pack FSDU requires 186kg of CO₂ and less than one full truckload. We deliver nearly 1,000kg of CO₂ savings every time we replace an assembled FSDU with a flat-pack alternative.

Conservative estimates indicate that this sustainability initiative could generate savings of 114 tonnes of CO₂ (that’s equivalent to 56 London-to-New York flights) and save 58.8 tonnes of cardboard over three years… although we believe the savings could be a lot higher than this!

Linney –revolutionising the POS world

Whether you’re looking for sustainable temporary solutions for in store or environmentally friendly packaging for your products, our Display team is expert in card engineering and creative problem solving. Our team is on a mission to revolutionise the POS world, and we’d love to take your brand on the journey. Interested? Let’s talk.

View more on: Display 1851 Knowledge Hub