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Sodalite Creative’s VR augments Costa’s Christmas

The challenge


Christmas is that time of year when retailers and their suppliers look to return impressive sales figures. It’s also a time when the city review the FMCG market looking forward to healthy profits. It’s that time when shoppers often flock to the retailer’s door and spend, spend, spend. A time of year when things have to be right. Missed opportunities can’t be clawed back in January and unhappy, dissatisfied customers may not come back to the store for a long time.

All in all, Christmas is a pivotal, make or break time of the year. To make Christmas a successful trading period there are many things that have to be right. Obviously the product range, its price, promotion, availability and its position are taken into account but at Christmas there needs to be a little added sparkle too.

At Costa Coffee, catering for a Christmas shopper’s desire for a ‘sit down and rest’ over a coffee is always at its highest during November and December when shoppers are worn down by the endless trekking up and down the high street. Searching out perfect gifts and treats for our loved ones and the odd secret Santa is definitely thirsty work. For Costa Coffee there is never a more important time of the year to get everything right and as the nation’s favourite coffee shop it is safe to say that they have done a very good job so far.

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The approach


At Costa Coffee’s head office the desire for improvement and exceeding customer expectation never wanes which is why, for Christmas 2014, Sodalite Creative were contacted to help improve things further. Sodalite Creative has many years experience in space planning and visual communications. The brief was simple. Increase customer satisfaction, improve sales and drive profitability. Sodalite set to work evaluating the display to identify which products delivered the best margins within each sub-category. Armed with this information, the next step was to create a display which made the cakes irresistible to the customer and drove profit.

Finally, it was imperative to ensure the display was well implemented in store. So often, great central initiatives are poorly executed, resulting in lacklustre performance. To ensure this didn’t happen, Costa initiated a number of roadshows to communicate the range and the display to the store managers. This was supplemented with a comprehensive store communication package leaving the store staff in no doubt regarding what was required.

Once again Sodalite Creative stepped forward and worked closely with the Costa Coffee Marketing and Food Development team to create a printed store briefing pack and an animation of the cabinet build ensuring the quality of the implementation was as high as possible.

The result


Well the Christmas trading period has only just started but it is safe to say that this years like for like performance far exceeds all expectations, with sales and profit at an unprecedented level. This coupled with excellent customer satisfaction means that it should be a very merry Christmas for all at Costa Coffee.

As a result of the successful Christmas project Sodalite Creative have been commissioned to deliver the post-Christmas displays, not just for sweet but extended to savoury too. It looks like Costa Coffee will remain the nations favourite coffee shop for a long time to come?

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