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InsighTCC: September round-up

We’re back and better than ever, armed with the latest monthly round up from InsighTCC. It’s another bumper edition, packed full of news, views, and everything in between from the world of retail and beyond. This time around we take a tour of the latest eco-initiatives, the value of investing in your Click & Collect service, a virtual reality skate park and even a trip down memory lane with Aston Martin.

So, sit back, relax, and read what September had to offer…

Reuse and refund: Loop Recycling introduced in Tesco stores
Loop Recycling have been introduced to a number of Tesco stores. Selected items in store include the price of a refundable deposit. So, when a customer is finished, they can return the packaging via the Loop Returns Point in store and their original deposit payment is refunded. With a number of leading FMCG brands signing up to the scheme, Loop has been designing and manufacturing a range of innovative packaging. This includes new packaging for Unilever’s ice cream ranges that keep the product frozen for up to 2 hours. Hard to recycle packaging is a big bare of all industries, so making them multi-use is an excellent way of making them more sustainable.

Digital decks: Vans launch virtual skatepark on Roblox
Vans have launched a virtual skate park on the Roblox platform. Vans World is the latest example of brands stepping into the metaverse to increase engagement with their audience. Unlike the short-term promotions from brands like Gucci on Roblox, Vans World is a more long-term project, allowing users to invest time in honing their skills and, more pertinently, engaging with the brand. Inevitably, the commercial side is present, with players able to browse and buy merchandise, including exclusive variants.

M&S introduces digital Click & Collect service
Marks & Spencer is introducing a new and improved digital Click and Collect service to speed up in-store collection for shoppers. Rather than wait in a queue at a till point, shoppers will be able to use touchscreens in store to notify staff who will then locate the order and bring it directly to the shopper. 22 stores are being trialled now, with plans for another 56 stores before Christmas. In 2018, 71% of online M&S orders were collected in store and an incredible 85% of shoppers collecting online orders in store went on to buy an additional item. So, investing in streamlining the Click & Collect process even further is a shrewd move.

Waste not whisky: Glenfiddich uses whisky waste to fuel delivery trucks
Glenfiddich are converting their delivery trucks to run on bio gas to reduce their emissions. And it’s not just any bio gas, it’s spent barley grains from their own whisky making process that are mixed with special bacteria and then converted into the fuel. They’ve even built special fuelling stations to dispense the bio gas, all resulting in reducing emissions by 250 tonnes per year!

Team Tik Tok: Leeds United starting selling shirts on Tik Tok
Leeds United have become the first football team in the world to start selling merchandise directly through TikTok. Yes, TikTok. The club recently signed a deal with Shopify, through which the video-sharing platform has added a shopping feature on their app. Aaron Duckmanton, Leeds United’s Global Head of Digital, said: “We’ve seen huge engagement on TikTok since we launched, integrating our retail products with TikTok, we hope to not only attract new audiences for Leeds United but also provide a seamless shopping experience for fans on the platform.
It seems the world of e-commerce knows no bounds.

What’s Next?: Next takes majority share in Gap’s UK business
In a move that mirrors their investment in Victoria’s Secret, Next have bought a 51% share in Gap’s ailing UK business. They will sell their range on the Next Total Platform, their well established and successful e-commerce operation. With Gap closing all 81 stores in the UK and Ireland by the end of this month, this new venture will see concessions also appear within Next stores, much like Victoria’s Secret. Consolidating retail offerings and cherry picking their successful traits could lead to a strong portfolio for Next.

Walk about: Schuh launch AR game to increase high street activity
As part of their 40th anniversary, UK shoe retailer, Schuh, have been running Schuh Sneaker Hunt, an interactive AR game to encourage exploration of the high street. Shoppers can access the hunt online, or via a QR code found in stores and on OOH advertising. In a campaign that encourages people to get out and about, participants hunt for prizes, with over 40,000 available including holidays, free sneakers for a year and store vouchers. Combining the resurgent technology of QR codes, with increasingly accessible AR is a fantastic way of creating an experience worth having, but reinforcing that with prizes that are worth searching for is what makes this a truly fantastic activation.

Green glossary: introducing online sustainable resource, EcoSki
Have you ever read an article (or even an edition of InsighTCC) about sustainability and been confused by the new-fangled terminology? Well, now you can check those terms, acronyms, and descriptions on EcoSki; your new favourite eco resource. Their glossary is constantly being refined and expanded to offer a comprehensive list of sustainable terms to help you understand this increasingly important and sometimes complicated subject.

Tall toys: Aston Martin promotes Bond film with Corgi toy replica
In support of the long-awaited launch of the latest Bond film, Aston Martin have created an epic promotional display. Back in 1965, when the Aston Martin DB5 appeared in the Bond film, Goldfinger, the Corgi toy version of the car became an iconic part of the lore, selling 20 million copies and keeping it in production to this day. With the DB5 set to reappear in the latest film, Aston Martin have built a beautiful, 5-metre-long Corgi toy box replica to support the film launch. While only a handful of avid fans will get to see the car in person, the halo effect on social during the film’s launch window will be vast.

Eco-mmunity: Co-op’s clever media placement
To promote the introduction of soft plastic recycling points at their stores, Co-op have introduced a brilliant marketing campaign. To highlight the fact that they’ll accept soft plastics from any store (not just their own), Co-op have placed messages outside competitor stores and even leveraged their competitor’s logo treatments. Where this kind of media placement and approach is usually a snide land grab (we’re looking at you Burger King and Pepsi), Co-op’s tone feels much more optimistic and reflective of the fact that sustainability relies on us all working together.

Green grub: McDonalds trials reusable dishes and plates in France
McDonalds have started trialling reusable plates and trays in France. Yes, you heard us right…McDonalds! This move comes as the golden arches look to improve their sustainable credentials, but more because new legislation has been announced in France. From 2023, fast food restaurants will not be allowed to use single use packaging in France, which is absolutely incredible. Customers eating at select McDonalds in France will be served food in hard plastic, glass, and recycled paper containers.

Ice creams all round: pop up van promotion
To celebrate National Ice Cream Day on the 18th July, has launched a competition where the prize is a stay in a fully decked-out ice cream truck. To promote the competition, the truck was stationed in Union Square, New York, handing out ice creams inspired by flavours from around the world. As cool as the truck looks (and as much as we love ice cream), we’re not really sure why would be celebrating National Ice Cream Day, hammering home the importance of always ensuring activations are relevant.

Carbon zero cotton: T-shirt removes CO2 from the atmosphere
Traditionally, black dye for clothing is manufactured from carbon black, produced by partially burning petroleum. Unsurprisingly, this is not very sustainable. In response, UK based clothing label, Vollebak, has developed an innovative new fabric using algae black, which actually absorbs carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. Hopefully this approach to material will go down a storm in the fashion industry and then proliferate across a number of others!

Durable denim, Duer opens sensory playground store
Canadian performance denim brand, Duer, has opened a new store in Vancouver. Their products are designed to offer a mix of style and physical practicality, which has been brought to life in their new concept store they call the Performance Denim Playground. Stores have space where customers can relax, climb, or even swing around. This creates a truly a memorable store experience that encourages tangible interaction with the brand, an amazing amount of dwell time interacting with a variety of new products, proof of concept for their durability claims, and talkability afterwards!

Reduce, reuse, re-wear: Urban Outfitters launch a resale marketplace
Urban Outfitters are launching Nuuly Thrift; a new resale platform to promote the re-use of their clothes. Having already introduced Nuuly Rent, their take on the ever-increasingly popular rental offer, Nuuly Thrift has been developed to encourage trading of pre-used products and offer a new lease of life for products from their rental service (plus, users can even trade non-Urban Outfitters products on the platform). Once a sale has been made, users can either take the money or convert it into Nuuly Cash, which is valued at 10% more than cash. This is a fantastic, multi-use platform that can bolster Urban Outfitters sustainability creds as well as create a thriving community of slow fashion fanatics.

Robotic recycling: student designs recyclable shoe with QR codes
Product design student, Maxwell Ashford, has developed a solution that challenges established methods of shoe design, as well what happens to them after they’ve been worn. Working with ABB Robotics, Ashford has designed the RUEI-01 shoe, so that can be dismantled using robots. All of the operating information is embedded in the shoe, so the robots can separate each material, ready for recycling. Check out the QR code-powered robot below…. It’s the most satisfying thing you’ll see all day.

Thanks for joining us for another round up of insights, news and views from the world of retail and beyond! We hope you enjoyed it, and as always, if there’s anything you’d like to know more about, just get in touch.

If you missed last month’s installment, you can catch up here.

Written by Daisy Sollis
September 30, 2021

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