Killer app: Printers pool resources to rebrand News UK agents

By Jenny Roper, Monday 01 September 2014

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Popping to the shop to grab a paper? You might end up coming away with more. According to Him! CTP 2013 research 69% of shoppers buy other items as well as a newspaper, with those buyers tending to be more loyal.

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Little wonder, then, that over 8,300 newsagents were recently so keen to sign up for a News UK rebrand, designed to boost sales of The Sun and The Times.

What did the job entail?

As part of its Retail+ initiative, News UK asked 15,000 newsagents to rebrand. Over half agreed, spurring a frantic five-month roll-out programme – something that would normally take two years according to News UK. In total an impressive 8,000 internal units, 2,000 storefront fascias and 6,000 blade signs were installed.

How was it produced?

External fascias were produced by Glasgow-based SPD Print Solutions, Poole-based Positive Group and ASG. Leeds-based Bartuf Systems and Leicester-based ATL Associates delivered all internal units, with ATL designing the ‘fish tank’ two shelf stands and spring-loaded retention trays especially for this project. All fascias were made from Dibond, were CNC routed, with vinyl lettering applied. 

What challenges were overcome?

Coordinating all of the different store’s individual requirements and rolling signage out so quickly was the real challenge, reported director of customer sales at News UK Chris Duncan. “Some stores would get just the blade signs – every one was different,” said Duncan. He added: “When we started we were ideally looking for a single printer. But when we looked at the top five or 10 by scale we realised there was just nobody doing that volume in that period of time.”

Of the challenge of designing the ‘fish tank’ shelf stands and spring-loaded retention trays, ATL’s Neil Smillie said: “It was the timeframe and ensuring we immediately understood the brief – we had to get it all right first time.” He added: “I came up with the fish tank idea when looking at my children’s Lego boxes. They’re designed so you can show two different newspapers at once, while the spring trays keep the papers at an attractive angle.”

What was the feedback?

“Newsagents are saying the branding has gone down well – people have come in and said ‘we love your shop,’” said Duncan. Neel Patel, owner of Jaysonz News, Camden, confirmed: “The main part of signage is the shop front because it is the first thing you see. It makes the shop look a lot cleaner – more inviting.”

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