Thursday, September 18, 2008

News from the retail front

I have had of late to get a bit closer to the innermost workings of the retail world than is healthy.

And a few things have become clear: the shenanigans of their marketing would do Machiavelli proud, and the corporate structures are so rigid, and the level of fear of making a mistake so palpable so as to make the Russian military look like an anarchists' brainstorming session.

A few months ago we approached the manager of our local supermarket with a proposal to hold a little research on shoppers attitudes to packaging by using the RE:tie as the focus. It would help us get data, him get PR, and the store some 'we care about the future' kudos. Win-win-win.

He was well up for it. But... he needed to run it by head office. To OK a stand in the local carpark.

Several months and countless cross shuntings and requests for more and more info (Ans: 'Er, we'd have a table, and we'd ask if folk would see merit in second use ideas being put in pack designs. Maybe like the way Innocent did it, with a 'Yes/no' bin you pop bottles in. Bit of fun, really. Bound to get the local press covering it') from a bevvy of backside-concerned minions later, we got our answer.. from board level: No, best not.


So I wonder how many person hours in meetings this bit of genius required:

The Grocer - Tesco Extra takes bags under the counter

'Don't ask..don't tell'. Hey, it works in the military!

Talking Retail - Tesco Extra pushes plastic bags under the counter

MRW - Tesco introduces 'bag on demand' initiative

PRW - NEW - Tesco points scheme cuts bag use - This, however, adds up

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