Increasing retail sales is the name of the game. That’s why creating high-impact visual displays of beverages is seen in all types of retail stores. Most common are the palletized displays. Whether used indoors or outdoors, full pallets of beverages are quite the norm; but many retailers have been taking issue with these common forms of display. Safestrap Co. listens to those problems and creates solutions.

“Stack it high and watch it fly” was a catch-phrase coined during the appearance of the early grocery stores. Even today, retailers still merchandise stacked products, usually on pallets, for easy consumer purchase and strong visual appeal. It’s practical, as beverages come shipped on pallets and don’t have to be restocked; and pallets are easy to position on the sales floor.

However, pallets can be unattractive and as dangerous as they are ugly. People get splinters from them, get their feet caught on them, and many more trip and fall over them. This has led many retailers to limit the use of pallets on the sales floor and some to avoid using pallets altogether. Developing a safe and attractive way to merchandise straight off the pallet was a challenge that led to a few simple, yet innovative products that have helped retailers and created new opportunities for beverage-makers.

“It was a strong desire from many of our retailer customers in finding something to take the place of pallets or find a way to protect consumers who trip and fall over exposed pallets that sparked the introduction of the Pallet-Guard,” said Paul Giampavolo, president of Safestrap. “I remember walking a store with a safety director who explained how dangerous pallets were. His challenge was for us to come up with a safe and attractive solution. That conversation is what led us to invent and develop the Pallet Guard.”

Pallet Guards are adjustable panels that snap together to surround one pallet or multiple pallets. They are available in different shapes and can hold interchangeable signs or be emblazoned with logos or graphics. The company also offers a configuration for aisle ends and mid-aisle displays. Pallet Guards quickly transform a pallet into a high-impact visual display that protects the merchandise from damages and protects the consumer from trips, falls and other injuries. Most

important from a sales perspective is that the Pallet Guard claims real estate on the selling floor for more pallets that wouldn’t even be considered before, Safestrap says.

The latest addition to the Pallet Guard series, the Tri-Sign, was designed with interchangeable signage panels that allow beverage brands a new and highly visible branding vehicle. Agencies working with the top beverage brands that have struggled to bring their multi-media advertising messaging to the customer and to point-of-purchase are thrilled to finally have a branding opportunity right on the retailer’s store floor, Safestrap says.

Another simple, yet innovative product that was developed by Safestrap also came directly from the retailers’ lists of problems. The Pallet Decoy is a full pallet mock beverage display. This product was developed in conjunction with top beverage manufacturers and convenience store chains as a solution to the problems associated with displaying actual product outdoors. Safestrap describes the Pallet Decoy as a high-impact, visually stimulating mobile display designed to simulate a full pallet of beer or soda.

Convenience store executives have long been searching for a way to increase store traffic. To this end, they have been placing full pallets of beverages outside the stores to attract customers, but have had to deal with theft and weather-related issues that shrink their profits. There have been myriad beverage containment units produced for outside use over the years, all of which sport graphics and attempt to deal with those issues by means of protecting the actual product. However, all of them still require the product to be kept outdoors.

The Pallet Decoy does everything a full pallet of actual beverages does in visual terms, but doesn’t place actual product at risk or require outdoor vending where busy attendants or store personnel may or may not be watching. The Pallet Decoy invites people inside the store and turns them into shoppers and customers. These colorful decoys are ideally suited for placement in front of convenience stores or on the gas islands to entice consumers into the store to buy, Safestrap says.

The Pallet Decoy is designed to face the challenges of the outdoors. The skin is UV resistant to protect against harsh sunlight and vents allow the wind to move through. The Decoy’s frame is attached to a traditional wooden pallet and sets up quickly and easily. The branded skin slides over the frame to successfully complete the visual illusion of a full pallet of beer or soda. An inexpensive alternative to traditional beverage containment units, the Pallet Decoy is available to simulate full and half pallets, which are suited for tight spaces in front of the store or on the gas islands.

n Safestrap Co. Inc., 105 W. Dewey Ave., Building D, Suite 410, Wharton, N.J. 07885; 800/356-7796;