Archive for the ‘Latest News’ Category

Care Packages for NHS Frontline Workers

April 3rd, 2020 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Over the past week brand experience experts, Clements Create have been working with one of their partners, Symington’s Foods in response to the request for Care Packages to be sent to the brilliant NHS frontline workers.

Clements Create’s warehouse team have wasted no time in assisting with the initiative, picking and packing the Care Packages that are filled with tasty hot snacks and meals kindly donated by Symington’s. Clements’ logistics team then jumped into action, getting the boxes delivered to both local hospitals and those further afield.

Create hope that the list of hospitals receiving the Care Packages will continue to grow over the next few weeks, helping to keep frontline workers fed and spirits lifted whilst they work tirelessly helping to care for all of our loved ones during these unprecedented times.

Online traffic during Coronavirus: Mapp analyses traffic changes across sectors

April 3rd, 2020 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Mapp, an international provider of insight-based customer engagement, has published figures on the changes in online customer behaviour due to the current Coronavirus pandemic.

Significant traffic uplift in online trading
By the end of March 2020, online order volumes had increased by 88 percent compared to the beginning of the year.

E-commerce: Rising demand for tools, toys and cosmetics
The nationwide lockdowns to contain the pandemic has created increased demand for products that can be used at home. Online retailers offering tools and building materials are showing enormous growth. Average order volumes in these product groups rose by a full 212 percent compared to the beginning of the year. The fact that the demand for tools and building materials is rising suggests that users are spending significantly more time doing DIY due to isolation.

There was also a clear upward trend in toys and cosmetic products – here, orders rose by an average of 90 percent and 64 percent respectively. The increase in the toy sector is most likely an effect of closed kindergartens and nursery schools, as parents need to keep their children happy.

There were also moderate increases in the furniture and furnishings (17 percent) and electronics (9 percent) sectors. These should be related to an increased demand for home office equipment. The fact that the number of orders for furniture and furnishings is pointing upwards, while the volume of shopping baskets is declining, points to increased purchases of decoration and home accessories.

By contrast, the clothing trade did not yet show any Coronavirus-related effects at the end of March – the average order volume in this sector remained constant. However, the limited time the population spends outdoors has consequences for the sportswear and equipment sector.

Shopping in the morning, news consumption in the early evening
E-commerce portals are used more frequently between 6am and 8am, while publishers have the highest influx in the afternoon and evening between 4pm and 7pm.

These differences during the day show that, due to isolation, users deal with shopping in the morning when they would normally access news via their smart phones on their way to work. The focus on publishing in the late afternoon or early evening, on the other hand, underlines the increased importance of media and Internet reporting.

For this evaluation, Mapp examined the traffic from 1 January to 22 March. The sectors analysed were e-commerce and B2B, and were analysed according to country, industry and product type. 

Kingfisher plc provides £1 million worth of PPE equipment and funding for health services

April 3rd, 2020 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Five trucks of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from B&Q and Screwfix are set to leave for the NHS emergency hub. 

A further three million facemasks have also been ordered. 

Kingfisher, the home improvement retailer whose businesses include B&Q, Screwfix, Castorama and Brico Dépôt, is committed to supporting our communities and governments to manage the Covid-19 pandemic. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is critical for frontline healthcare workers. There is a global peak in demand, but by ringfencing stock and using our international supply chain, we can help bring essential PPE to where healthcare needs are greatest in our markets. Our colleagues from our stores will also continue to support our communities locally wherever they can.

Since the Covid-19 crisis hit Europe, Kingfisher and its businesses in Europe have ringfenced all their remaining stock of personal protective equipment (PPE) so it can be donated to frontline healthcare workers. 

Five trucks containing protective eyewear and masks worth over £200,000 are set to leave our Trentham distribution centre near Stoke to go to the NHS’s Emergency logistics hub in the Midlands.

Kingfisher also confirms it has ordered a further three million face masks from suppliers in China and Israel that it expects to arrive towards the end of April. These will be for donation to the health authorities in the UK, France, Poland and Romania, or to equip our colleagues who are facilitating our online and click & collect orders in stores.

Kate Anderson at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust which recently received a donation of P3 masks and goggles said: “Our staff are delighted to receive the masks and goggles which will really help to ensure they’re well protected in the coming days and weeks.”

Supporting local health authorities in all our markets

Kingfisher and its retail banners B&Q and Screwfix in the UK, Castorama and Brico Dépôt in France, Poland, Spain and Romania, have made the following additional donations to date, committing over £1m so far:

  • In the UK, B&Q and Screwfix have donated over £300,000 of PPE to the NHS, with more to follow. We are working closely with the NHS to donate these supplies to the hospitals and key workers where they are most needed and have already donated masks, goggles and visors to many large hospitals across London. Our B&Q stores have also been donating a range of other items, from paint to plants, where urgently needed by community organisations including hospices and care homes.
  • In France, we have donated over 2.5 million products including gloves, masks, glasses, visors and protective suits to Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris (APHP), the network of hospitals in Paris, and directly given 8,500 masks to two large hospitals in Paris. We have also sent PPE to care homes for the elderly (EPHAD) in the East of France, one of the worst hit regions in the country.
  • In Poland, we have donated £200,000 of PPE products to the Ministry of Health and a network of hospitals across Poland.
  • In Spain, we are continuing to deliver gloves and goggles to local authorities and are donating £20,000 to the Spanish Red Cross.
  • In Romania, we donated £45,000 to support ARC, the organisation responsible for leading the frontline response. We have also provided construction products for a municipal hospital.

ChargedUp supports the fight against COVID-19

April 3rd, 2020 | Latest News | 0 Comments

ChargedUp, a phone charging network, is switching its network of charging stations to hand sanitiser stations, in an initiative dubbed CleanedUp aimed at supporting the UK’s efforts to combat COVID-19.

Utilising its UK manufacturing partners ChargedUp is converting its free-standing phone charging stations into hand sanitising dispensers, to be used in supermarkets; train stations; pharmacies; food outlets; essential shops and shopping centres; and hospitals. 

The company has the capacity to produce over 1000+ a month if needed and supply enough Alcohol and Non-Alcohol sanitiser to keep each station full.

The CleanedUp project has been created  to help venues provide hand sanitising facilities for their customers; keeping everyone safe and giving confidence during and after the crisis.

ChargedUp is providing all the hardware and the hand sanitiser at cost price to any venue in need. 

Customers can use the ChargedUp app to find venues with the hand sanitiser stations.

“With the majority of our usual network of pubs, clubs, cafes and shopping centres closing down due to the COVID-19 crisis, we wanted to find a way to use our skills, our resources and our network to help during what is a  tough period for everyone. We have a strong creative team, so we put our heads together – virtually, not physically! – and CleanedUp was born. We really hope it can help both workers and customers stay safe now and in the future.” explained CEO Hugo Tilmouth.

For more information, or to apply for a CleanedUp station visit: www.cleanedup.green

Dashel Cycle Helmets donating helmets to key NHS workers

April 3rd, 2020 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Designed and manufactured sustainably in the UK, Dashel is leading the trend for chic, stylish and protective helmets which are made from innovative and sustainable materials that ensure a lightweight and slim fit. Available in a choice of seasonal colours, Dashel is stylish and safe finishing touch to your cycling wardrobe that not only looks good but is good to the planet.

“We’ve seen no change to our online sales, UK wholesale is still holding up too – for which we are very grateful. We recognise that many other small businesses are not as lucky as us. We have had orders cancelled from stores in Mainland Europe, but parts of Asia seem to be getting back into business.” says Catherine Bedford, founder of Dashel.

“To thank our customers for their support, and NHS staff who are doing such an amazing job in these difficult times, we’re donating our cycle helmets to key NHS staff who are now cycling to and from work, or using bicycles to travel around or between sites. We’re kicking this off by working with our retailer Fully Charged providing 20 helmets to match the 20 e-bikes donated by GoCycle. In addition, for every online sale from 31st March, we’ll donate another helmet. We can’t protect them for the virus, but we can help keep them safer when cycling.”

Dashel is working with UK bike hire schemes and independent bike stores offering free services to NHS workers to ensure the donated cycle helmets reach the right people.

For more information, or to order your own helmet and get one donated to the NHS visit: https://dashel.co.uk/

Wellbeing in Retail initiative

April 3rd, 2020 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Right now times are tough for the 2.9 million people working in retail – the largest private sector employer in the UK. And it’s not just the economic impact – mental health is a big concern. Whether its frontline supermarket staff, furloughed employees, or small business owners who have had to shut up shop, many will be finding that their mental health is taking a hit as a result of Covid-19.

But there is support out there.

The John Lewis Partnership, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, ASOS, the Co-op, M&S and Next have all funded the Wellbeing in Retail initiative, which was launched on World Mental Health Day 2019. The online training guide helps workers look after their own mental health while giving advice on how they can help others who may be struggling.

The development of the website was inspired by research which revealed that many retail workers could not recognise the signs of someone needing emotional support and round some would not feel confident approaching an upset colleague.

The Wellbeing in Retail tool complements Samaritans’ Wellbeing in the Workplace online learning programme which was launched in 2018 initially for City workers with the help of The Lord Mayor’s Appeal and has been successfully rolled out to over 800 organisations.

Find out more here.

Food deliveries top 200,000 a week as DPD responds to Covid-19 emergency

April 3rd, 2020 | Latest News | 0 Comments

CEO welcomes Government clarification over ‘essential’ status of logistics

New Morrisons tie-up for next-day food box delivery

Parcel delivery firm DPD says it expects food and NHS deliveries to increase rapidly in the coming weeks, following a new tie up with supermarket giant Morrisons and additional deliveries to hospitals and other health sector locations.

The news follows the Department for Transport’s (DfT) clarification that the work of the logistics sector is essential and should continue during the Covid-19 crisis.

DPD is now delivering Morrisons food boxes in addition to handling an increase in deliveries for existing food and recipe box shippers. Total food deliveries have topped 200,000 a week and DPD is planning for that number to rise significantly.

Morrisons has created a Meat Eaters Food Box and a Vegetarian Food Box. Both cost £35 and contain a range of chilled, fresh and tinned food stuffs, designed to help feed a couple for up to a week. DPD will deliver the boxes the next day, for orders placed before 3pm.

DPD is also now making thousands of additional deliveries for the NHS including hospitals, GP surgeries, out of hours centres, pharmacies, adult care homes and hospices. DPD has recently delivered 10.3 million masks, 6.7 million gloves and 5.2 million aprons for the NHS.

Protecting DPD’s workforce and customers remains the number one priority. As part of its response to Covid-19, the firm has introduced full social distancing measures throughout its operation which includes everyone staying two metres apart during briefings and for all processes such as loading and unloading vehicles. Driver start times have also been staggered to ensure there are far fewer drivers in the depot at any time and extra cleaning measures have been introduced at all depots and parcel hubs. Meanwhile, on the doorstep, all deliveries are contactless, with the driver maintaining a distance of at least two metres at all times.

DPD have meticulously followed social distancing protocols throughout the operation with widespread changes to processes, a complete remodelling of the depot buildings and analysis of the movement of people. The firm has also repurposed resources in each depot to continuously monitor and improve the steps being taken. For example, new entrance and exit points have been created to remove potential bottle necks and DPD has introduced concept of chevrons, similar to those used on parts of the motorway network, to help keep people two metres apart on walkways.

Dwain McDonald, DPD’s CEO commented, “At a time when many people are still struggling to safely get hold of fresh produce and essential supplies, we have partnered with Morrisons to provide next-day delivery for their food boxes, with our full one-hour delivery slot service. It is hugely reassuring for people to see that they can order these goods easily and know exactly when they will be arriving.

“I’m delighted to see the Government confirm the essential status of our industry at this difficult time. It is recognition of the role we are all playing in keeping supplies moving, while keeping our customers and our people safe.

“Our depot and hub teams have been fantastic. They are doing an incredible job and the feedback the drivers are receiving from their customers has been amazing. They are doing an essential job and it is hugely appreciated.”

A look at the Digital Signage & Interactive Solutions Forum

April 2nd, 2020 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Join 50+ other senior professionals at the Digital Signage & Interactive Solutions Forum.

This two-day event takes place on September 23rd at the Hilton London Canary Wharf and provides an ideal environment for the sector to share forward-thinking ideas, meet new partners and discover new ways of further building their businesses.

It’s entirely free for digital signage buyers to attend, with complimentary guest passes including:

  • A bespoke itinerary of pre-arranged meetings with product and service providers who match your requirements and upcoming projects;
  • Access to a series of seminars by industry thought-leaders;
  • Networking with like-minded peers;
  • Lunch and refreshments.

Key areas covered by the event partners include:

3D Digital Signage

Audio Media

Consultancy & Design

Content Design & Aesthetics

Content Management

Digital Billboards

Digital Merchandising

Dooh Advertising

Installation/Integration

Interactive/Touchscreen

Large Scale Deployment

LED Signs

Media Players

Menu Boards

Mobile Interactivity

Networking/Connectivity

POS Display

Projection Displays

Security Signage

Video Walls

Wayfinding

Throughout the event there will also be a series of seminars to provide delegates with inspiration and insight.

You’ll be joining other senior industry professionals representing the likes of John Lewis, London Luton Airport, National Museums Liverpool, Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust, Ryman Stationery, Selco Builders Warehouse, Tate, The Hurlingham Club, Wembley Park and more.

To find out more about attending, contact Remi Vince on 01992 374064/r.vince@forumevents.co.uk

If you are an industry supplier, you can benefit from:

• An audience of pre-qualified buyers
• A personalised itinerary of face-to-face meetings
• Stand, electrics, name board and furniture included
• Lunch and refreshments are included

Contact Liam Cloona on 01992 374089/l.cloona@forumevents.co.uk to find out about our range of event partner packages.

For more information, visit digitalsignageforum.co.uk.

How Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Change the Future of Retail

April 2nd, 2020 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Shrenik Sadalgi, 3D Commerce Working Group Chair, The Khronos Group and Head of Next – Far Future R&D, Wayfair

When people think of augmented and virtual reality (also known as AR/VR or, more commonly, XR when referred to together), video games that are futuristic and larger than life usually come to mind. But as a platform, XR actually has the potential to be more profound than just next-level entertainment; in fact, the burgeoning technology is rapidly disrupting many diverse industries.

For example: Firefighters are using XR innovations to train; surgeons are gaining “real-world” medical experience by leveraging the technology; and factory workers are redefining manufacturing with AR as a helping hand. In commerce especially, XR is powering more engaging experiences than ever previously possible.

XR is changing the future of retail

Retail is another market that is quickly seeing new XR innovations bring about radical change for the industry’s future. And when you zoom out from XR, you’ll find that it’s actually 3D—a medium that is quickly proving itself game-changing for the retail industry—that’s powering these modern experiences. Digital 3D, itself, is not new–but computing power, network bandwidths, and display technologies are all enablers that are leading to newer interaction paradigms to make 3D experiences ubiquitous.

Together, XR and 3D applications are positioned to completely change the entire experience of shopping by enabling consumers to view and interact with virtual products in real spaces or virtual showrooms.

For example, in a retail world of XR and 3D, merchandising can be enhanced with 3D experiences, where consumers will be able to fully see and experience a product online to get a full understanding of it before deciding to make a purchase. This additional context is incredibly helpful in high-consideration categories, such as furniture resulting in a powerful in-your-space shopping experience.

New XR and 3D innovations enable retailers to create richer representations of their products than ever before across a diverse set of platforms, including advertisements, search results, websites, apps, and more. By being able to create more broad brand experiences that enrich the shopping experience and deliver more valuable information for purchasing decisions for consumers, retailers will be able to leverage XR and 3D to better build brand loyalty and drive more revenue.

How will we get here?

In order to realize this future of an XR and 3D-rich retail landscape, the industry will have to discern how to best scale production and achieve broad distribution of these virtual applications—and this is no small undertaking.

When you shop online, think of the innumerable 2D images you see. Now imagine if each of those static images were transformed into a dynamic 3D representation. The results could be profound, but there are many roadblocks along the way to achieving this “future of retail.”

For instance, there’s no standard “JPEG” for 3D. The industry needs standards and guidelines so that 3D content can be experienced consistently across a variety of platforms and on a variety of devices. Other challenges that standardization can help address include optimizing industry workflows to minimize cost and bringing down the barrier for entry for retailers and technologists alike.

Bringing this kind of radical change across the retail industry will require collaboration between many different retail and technology companies. The most promising effort so far has been by global open consortium The Khronos Group, which is aiming to establish the first equivalent of the JPEG for 3D.

Khronos has established a 3D Commerce Working Group to align the industry for streamlined 3D content creation, management, and display in online retail.

Turning the retail experience into a 3D world will completely revolutionize the nature of shopping as we know it—for both consumers and retailers. But before we can get to this “future of retail” and make XR and 3D innovations a ubiquitous feature of the online shopping aisle, the industry must rally together to take us there.

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