Retail Better: Declutter Your Stores’ Windows

Discover how to declutter store windows and improve your stores’ appearance while still conveying your big idea. GSP’s Chief Creative Officer Steven Cohen shares an industry secret on how retailers can accomplish these three tasks at the same time.

Retailer Focus: Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt

From Umbrellas to Spoons, How a Growing Retailer Brings a Compelling Brand to Life.

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt

Established in 2007, Menchie’s is North America’s largest self-serve frozen yogurt franchise, and has over 380 locations with 400 locations in further development throughout the US, Canada and 15 other countries worldwide. Menchie’s focuses on serving the highest quality product with friendly customer service in an inviting store design.

Menchie’s offers guests premium rotating yogurt flavors and a large variety of toppings for unlimited combinations. And since they incorporate a pay-by-weight formula, guests can serve themselves and enjoy with Menchie’s signature collectible spoons. Click here to watch Ella, Menchie’s spokesperson, demonstrate the mixing options and process.

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt

In addition to the inviting store design, fresh quality self-serve products and friendly attentive staff, Menchie, the company mascot, is also an integral part in creating a happy atmosphere for guests. Menchie’s operations are standardized for a consistent quality product and in-store experience at any location.

The menu at each store consists of various yogurt flavors, dry goods, and fresh fruits that may vary by region or season. All locations stock branded items and have indoor as well as outdoor seating.

Menchie’s interior décor features whimsical branded
signage and their logo’s bright colors are incorporated in architectural details and throughout the store. The materials used, such as the small green glass tiles on the walls and brushed metal counter provide a modern feel. There are also chalk boards on the walls for children to color.

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt

The large signage placed above each self-serve station provides simple instructions, and the yogurt/topping signage is easy to read. On the exterior, the Menchie’s sign is prominent and there is adequate outside seating with branded green umbrellas.

Key Marketing/POP lessons from Menchie’s:

  • Utilize large easy-to-read hanging signs for self-service areas
  • Strong brand identifiers with prominent logo, mascot inside and outside the store
  • Loyal to brand – consistent use of green and pink brand colors throughout all store elements
  • In-store brand extensions – take home collectible spoons and branded merchandise help to keep the brand top of mind
  • Inviting, fun atmosphere encourages repeat business
Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt

Menchie’s has set the standard for the yogurt industry by providing a unique customer experience with an inviting self-serve atmosphere. They have created
a successful brand that keeps customers coming back for more. Menchie’s also provides a local gathering place for family and friends to celebrate, relax and have fun.

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Simple does it… a look at McDonald’s POP

Impactful POP with a Focus on Timed Events, Price Impact and the Power of New.

Utilizing inspiration from the “Golden Arches,” McDonald’s sometimes uses simple arch-shaped window graphics to communicate timed promotions, price impact and the power of new products. Below, a review of McDonald’s current POP program:

Create Urgency with Timed Events

mc-donalds-timed-eventsPromotions on specific days create a sense of urgency and drive traffic. Recurring timed events encourage repeat business – customers recall the timed promotions and plan to return for the offering. Highlighting different food promotions on different days is also a good way of appealing to a wider range of customers, creating excitement and will increase sales on those featured items.

Price Impact Draws Attention

Highlighting a low promotional price with large, easy-to-read price points captures consumer attention. McDonald’s window decals are clearly readable to parking lot and street traffic. Lower-priced items like their dollar menu are placed to be visible to the highest traffic areas, ensuring maximum impact.

The Power of New

mc-donalds-timed-events“New” when used correctly can be very powerful. It introduces a product, it says “try me” and can draw attention to an item to create a buzz. “New” works best when used in conjunction with a new product launch. Remember new can’t be new always—examine what new means for you in terms of timing.

Utilize these simple yet effective POP ideas from McDonald’s at your stores—for impactful POP that will deliver results.

Retailer Focus: Dunkin' Donuts

POP Lessons From a Coffee Leader.

Dunkin' Donuts Store Front

Dunkin’ Donuts has over 10,000 current locations worldwide with over 7,000 throughout the United States. With a focus on coffee and baked goods, the growing chain has built a strong brand in the coffee arena in recent years, and is on an aggressive path to add more stores.

The new Dunkin’ Donuts stores have a fresh, modern feel with the inviting aroma of coffee and pastries. There are coffee displays and standees with large coffee photographs near the entrance and coffee counter. The menu panel has many offerings but clearly highlights new drink and food items for big idea impact. On the exterior, there are large iconic coffee images for powerful brand identity that is visible from the street.

Dunkin' Donuts Window

To market and communicate their large variety of coffee flavors and product offerings, Dunkin’ Donuts utilizes a variety of big window signs, produced and contour-cut to different cup designs. The cup decals are simple, with minimal copy and without a highlighted price, but they have big impact. The coffee signs wrap the building.

They communicate their heritage and tagline (America runs on Dunkin’) though their napkins, cups and other product packaging. The brand presentation is consistent across POP and packaging. They also use their primary coffee cup to highlight their new coffee offerings, such as the new Dunkin’ Dark Roast.

Key POP lessons from Dunkin’ Donuts:

  • Large in-store signage with bold photography for best visibility and strong coffee impact
  • Strong brand identifiers with prominent logo and iconic coffee images outside the store
  • They let the drink tell the story with key brand messaging and new product offerings promoted on the coffee cups
  • Use a variety of cup designs to market the drink offerings boldly on the windows with large sign decals contour-cut into different cup shapes
  • The signs also do not highlight a price—it’s all about the experience of the coffee drink
Dunkin' Donuts Store Front

Dunkin’ Donuts strong branding initiatives, logo, tagline and iconic coffee graphics all talk to coffee – resulting in an effective, cohesive marketing campaign. Their bold signage choices work well inside and outside the store to build brand recognition that drives sales and customer loyalty for repeat business.

GSP designs and produces innovative POP signage, such as the contour-cut window signs shown here, for many leading retailers. Click here to see our portfolio.

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Retailer Focus: Panera Bread

POP Lessons From the QSR Industry

Panera Bread, a fast casual restaurant chain, has over 1600 current locations or bakery-cafes throughout the United States and Canada. With a focus on the customer experience, all Panera restaurants are modern, yet friendly with a warm welcoming atmosphere.

Panera’s interior décor features oversized paintings of food preparation representing Panera’ s emphasis on food quality. Their food photography has a warm feel, styled to create an inviting mood and to tie into the current season. The food images are aspirational – they focus less on representing the food as it is actually served and more on the experience of eating fresh-made food.

The menu system is simple yet modular with the full offering listed but with one highlighted item for a big impact. Large branded vertical banners are used consistently to highlight seasonal offers or new products, and primarily used on columns for best visibility.

On the exterior of Panera Bread stores, there are primarily large icon images of bread and grains, suggesting a fresh-baked offering.

Key POP lessons from Panera Bread:

  • Large in-store banners to highlight seasonal offerings and consistently used on columns for best visibility
  • Strong brand identifiers with prominent logo and icon signs outside the store
  • The menu systems are simple modular fixtures with one highlighted food offering for big impact
  • The food photography is styled for the current season to create an inviting appeal and unique customer experience

Panera Bread has set the standard for the fast casual restaurant industry by providing a unique customer experience with the comfortable, modern yet friendly in-store setting, fresh food choices and appealing food photography.

Their bold signage choices work well inside and outside the store to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere that drive sales and encourage repeat business.

Retailer Focus: M Local

Expanding English Food Retailer Focusing on Convenience and Fresh

M Local, the new convenience offering by the UK supermarket chain Morrison’s, has five current locations, with plans to open 70 more by the end of 2013.

The first 3,000 square foot M Local store was launched last year in West Yorkshire. The intent of the new store concept was to address recent research that show UK shoppers are regularly disappointed in the freshness, range and price of convenience store products by focusing on affordable fresh food.

Their goal has been to create a retail proposition and expression that positions M local as ‘Daily Market Fresh.’ This greater emphasis on fresh food, with the same competitive prices that can be found at the local Morrisons supermarkets, has been M-local’s main ingredient for success in the UK market. Perishable goods such as fish, produce and breads are supplied from nearby Morrisons supermarkets four times a day to ensure freshness.

The M local name itself establishes a strong link to the Morrisons parent brand, while evoking a more neighborhood-focused store. The new visual identity retains the design equity of Morrisons’ green and yellow, with a focus on the color green throughout the store to signify fresh. The interior design incorporates a unique mix of tile-work, exposed architecture and natural materials such as wood and wicker. The signage utilizes a simple clear copy style to communicate the offerings. On the front of the store, a large graphic is used to welcome the customers.

Morrisons is already a brand with a strong commitment to high quality and fresh food. M local demonstrates this promise to customers and was highly commended in the 2011 International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award for its innovation with fresh food as the center of its convenience offer.

Key lessons from M Local:

  • Large impactful signage with simple yet effective copy; subtle use of green to represent fresh
  • Large assortment of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and bakery items
  • Fresh food is prepared at the local full-format Morrisons stores and trucked in several times a day to ensure freshness
  • A new approach to fresh food pricing: there is no price premium on fresh products

A successful food retailer that has refined convenience with fast, affordable and extremely fresh offerings for meals on the go, M Local has found the right ingredients to stand out in the fast growing highly-competitive convenience retail marketplace.

McDonald’s POP Advertising

GSP Investigates – What They Are Currently Doing

As the trend to expand foodservice operations and increase fresh food offerings at convenience stores continues, c-store retailers are finding themselves competing more and more with the QSR industry. Steven Cohen, GSP’s Vice President of Design Services, and some of his team members, visited some recently renovated McDonalds to take a look at their POP advertising, to see what types of signage they are using and what new trends or innovative techniques they have incorporated. Here’s the result of their findings.

1. The Arch
In the images below, notice how the well-known McDonald’s arch is represented on the storefront trim and in their graphics – a subtle way to imprint their brand on each promotional element.
The Arch The Arch The ArchThe Arch The Arch

2. Photography Use
The McDonalds signage and website incorporates professionally shot photographs that support their brand. The images are shot with minimal styling on white, color and location backgrounds. In each case the food is hero and impact is made, as demonstrated by their window graphics and menu signage.
Photography Use Photography Use
Photography Use Photography Use

3. Less is More
Instead of a lot of small signs, they utilize large simple messages, like the pictured standee highlighting the new CBO sandwich and key POP advertising signs on the windows.
Less is More Less is More

4. Shapes
Window banners are utilized to highlight product specials and big ideas. They avoid the ordinary rectangle, and use custom-branded shapes to capture the customer’s attention.
McDonalds Shapes McDonalds Shapes

5. Destinations
They have branded destinations for an enhanced consumer in-store experience.
McDonalds Destinations McDonalds Destinations

In summary, McDonalds uses a powerful graphic approach, professionally shot images and takes advantage of every opportunity to reinforce their brand. The result is a clear, easy to understand communication to their customers.

Retailer Focus: Snack Box

A Shipping Container Turned Modern Street Food Vendor with Gourmet Flair

Snack Box, a Store Design winner at the NRF show in January, is innovative pop-up architecture design at its best. Recently re-located to Broadway between 45th and 46th Street in New York, SnackBox debuted in Times Square October 2011.

Designed by aedifica and muvbox, SnackBox is artfully constructed out of a 200 sq feet recycled shipping container with bold black and white graphics. The compact structure ideally fits into the limited space constraints of the pedestrian-only traffic areas, yet stands out amidst the visually saturated area of New York’s Times Square and Broadway districts.

SnackBox serves iconic NY street food with gourmet flair, serving up lobster rolls, donuts, hot dogs and coffee. It vanishes into a standard shipping container at night, and then in two minutes in the morning, deploys back into a pop-up restaurant with a bar and awning

This modern-day reinvention of the old-fashion canteen is 20 feet (6 meters) long, movable and entirely self-sufficient. A water supply tank is embedded into the floor and power comes from hybrid energy systems combining electric batteries and a generator. In the winter, the recovered heat from the generator is used to heat the interior for the staff.

Key lessons from SnackBox:
• Use simple yet bold graphical elements for contrast and to stand out in a colorful city environment.
• An elaborate yet practical reinvention and repurposing of a conventional shipping container.
• Compact box structure enables prime restaurant locations amidst foot traffic and easy relocation.
• Enhancing the traditional street vendor food with addition of gourmet food selections.

Through the unique repurposing of a standard box container and through the development of its visual identity and brand, SnackBox succeeds to convey the “NY personality” to the pop-up restaurant and continues to draw passersby for a snack.

Retailer Focus: Grapy Store

Innovative modular displays are huge success for wine retailer

Grapy, the once Internet-only wine retailer, has recently opened its first store in Roosendaal, Netherlands. The Grapy Store and the Het Verborgen Rijk bookstore, which showcases a large selection of books on cooking, share the same shop front and complement each other with a crossover in merchandising.

Designed by Amsterdam-based retail design firm Storage, Grapy Store features a vibrant wine-inspired palette, decorative fresh food wall graphics and a modular system of stackable, wooden wine-and-book units. The units can be altered to store wine, books or accessories and are painted in contrasting earthy tones with rich, purple hues that mimic flavor charts. 3D block letters and chalkboard paint direct shoppers to fresh fish, pasta and wines from around the world.

A central interactive touchscreen suggests wine-and-food pairings, bringing Grapy’s originally online-dominated world into a physical realm. Since Storeage developed the ‘flexible fixtures’ concept, the 25 square meter Grapy shop could easily travel or relocate to other locations, such as a music store or gourmet deli. And since these mobile units can expand or condense, there is no need for a stock room.

Key lessons from Grapy Shop:
• Have a proprietary fixture that makes the product the hero.
• Modular fixture defines the space and becomes the signature of the brand and becomes the proprietary element that they own.
• Visually pleasing fixtures with the right use of color can create a feeling of warmth and enjoyment.
• Functional displays and shelving with lots of product space can eliminate the need for extra storage and can enable mobility as needed.
• Shared retail space can be an advantage to both storefronts – providing complimentary merchandise for a unique shopping experience.

A successfully integrated food and wine shop with a mouth-watering spread of food, wine and cookbooks, the Grapy Shop has the right recipe to entice passers-by inside.

Retailer Focus: Pret A Manger

Brand and product focus is recipe for success

Pret A Manger is a UK-based store that creates handmade, natural preservative-free food. Pret opened in London in 1986 and arrived in America in 2000 – opening the first U.S. store in New York City.

Pret develops stores slowly… one at a time and incorporates a simple philosophy where the product is hero and the brand is front and center. This concept creates a Wow factor and the end result is continued success and expansion.

There are currently over 250 Pret stores. Most are in the UK where Pret is a household name, and new stores are opening in Hong Kong, New York, Washington DC and Chicago.

The branded star image is prominent and used consistently throughout the store – providing a strong brand awareness experience for the consumer. The star is incorporated on the storefront signs, promotional signage and all product packaging. Having the star image on all the offerings and signage doesn’t take away from the store, but rather contributes to the overall brand.

Another strength of Pret A Manger is the simple, straightforward messaging in their signage and packaging. The graphical use of “NEW” and “I’M BACK” on the packaging demonstrates that they are listening to customer feedback and want to communicate product and menu changes to them.

Key lessons from Pret A Manger:
• Own a symbol – and use it everywhere
• Create a consistent image across store design and product packaging
• Create in-store marketing programs to highlight your products that are easy to execute
• Listen to your customers – bring back favorite products and add new ones they’d like to have

The combination of all-natural tasty food, innovative store and packaging design, and a well-executed brand image is the secret to Pret A Manger’s success. Well done Pret. Bon appetit!