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Smurfit Kappa management see shelf-stacker challenges for themselves

Smurfit Kappa UK's entire senior management, including ceo Clive Bowers, recently undertook a night-fill exercise at Asda Wal-Mart's Leicester store to help the team understand first-hand the issues shelf-stackers face, underlining the “fundamental importance” the board packaging specialist attaches to retail-ready packaging (RRP).

The exercise builds upon the “Mile in My Shoes” initiative, where, during 2004, Smurfit Kappa’s design team “gained invaluable work experience” stacking shelves in a number of retail environments “to reveal the dilemmas faced by “the hidden consumer – the shelf-stacker”. The results were reportedly so enlightening the company was later awarded the Consumer Insight award from the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD).

Smurfit Kappa now offers three tailored “hands-on” training programmes (at four “retail centres” at its sites in Chelmsford, Stalybridge, Weston-super-Mare and Yate) to help marketeers, buyers, packaging designers, technologists and retail managers “understand the complexities involved in creating the right type of retail-ready solution and how it can directly benefit their operations”. The programmes are: Eye Opener – an introduction to retail-ready packaging; Shelf Assured – converting shelf-ready into retail-ready packaging, and Retail-Ready in One Day. More information: T: 0870 8503877; E:

Smurfit Kappa UK’s entire senior management team recently undertook a night-fill at an Asda store to help familiarise them with the challenges shelf-stackers face