Case Histories Retail

The Gs Carrefour Case History

The Iper Case History

The Gs Carrefour Case History

The Context
Players:6 GS supermarkets
Areas: Como, Varese and the province of Milan, of which:

  • 3 in an area where organic waste is collected separately
  • 3 in an area where organic waste is not collected separately

Times: Autumn 2002 - action in the supermarkets
Spring 2003 - research on the consumer

Basic problems
The Mater-Bi shopping bag was not very well known by the consumer, it had limited visibility and as a result was not purchased very much. The cashiers did not encourage the purchase because its price was higher than that of the traditional plastic bag.

The solution:
a joint Novamont - GS Carrefour communication plan

It was decided to develop communication activities in the point of sale:

1. The message contained three key points:

  • lThe supermarket chain presents its "new" biodegradable carrier bag
  • the characteristics of the bag: it is obtained from renewable sources, and is 100% biodegradable
  • it can be reused for the separate collection of organic waste

2. The Point of Sales material:

  • crowner
  • rotair
  • posters
  • leaflets
  • dispenser placed near the cash desk.

3. Entertainment in the Point of Sales:

  • Hostesses in Point of Sales for 12 days
  • the leaflet was distributed, and the product's characteristics and the fact that it can be reused to collect organic waste were explained as well as the fact that the double use reduces the cost

4. Internal communication:

  • * communication directed to the employees at the cash desks, as they have an important role in sales.

5. External communication:

  • Leaflet distributed door to door


The study
A study was carried out in May 2003, nine months after the activities in the sales outlet, to assess the actual impact and degree of liking of the Mater-Bi shopping bag. A total of 500 interviews were held.
The target consisted of regular GS supermarket customers in the province of Milan, that were identified in the areas where organic waste is collected separately, and in areas were no separate collection was made.

From the results of the study:

  • The Mater-Bi bags were used because they could be recycled for organic waste, because they were ecological and biodegradable; the non-users did not consider them because of their high price and because they were not interested in separate waste collection.
  • However, the bag's impact on all of the interviewees (users and non-users) was most positive. What they liked about it was the fact that it was biodegradable and ecological, and that it could be recycled.
  • The inclination to purchase was very good, approximately 70% of the overall sample
  • The price was the least appreciated variable
  • Use would certainly increase if something were done about the price
  • The construction of an additional emotive value could partly compensate for the price.

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Iper Case History

The Iper case history: "a bagful of respect for the environment"
The Context
Players: Iper
Location: 24 shopping centres throughout Italy
Timing: July 2004: press campaign and public relations activities
April/May/June 2005 events in the shopping centres

Basic problem
The Mater-Bi shopping bag was not very well known by the consumer, it had limited visibility, and was therefore not purchased very much. The cashiers did not encourage the purchase because the price was higher than the traditional plastic bag. Furthermore, at the cash desks, there was also a shopping bag in PE that had the same format as that in Mater-Bi, but a lower price.

The solution: Novamont-Finiper co-marketing plan

The following communication plan was produced:

Phase 1:
Press advertising campaign in the newspapers sold in the areas around the Point of Sale, published in "Corriere della Sera", Milan edition, "Il Centro", "Messaggero Veneto", "La Prealpina", "La Provincia Cr", "La Provincia Pavese", "Tribuna di Treviso", "Gazzettino TV", "La Stampa", Alessandria edition, "Gazzetta di Parma", "Corriere di Romagna", "Il Tempo", "Secolo XIX Nazionale", "Eco di Bergamo", "La Provincia di Como", "Il Giorno", Lombardy edition, "Resto del Carlino", Romagna edition, "Resto del Carlino", Pesaro edition, "Il Corriere Adriatico", "Messaggero Marche" and "Messaggero Abruzzo".
PR and press office activities
Shopping bag restyling with the same message of the campaign "a bagful of respect for the environment", in order to highlight the concepts of the natural origin (maize), biodegradability, compostability, reuse for collecting organic waste, contribution to reducing the greenhouse effect.
Phase 2
Weekend events in the point of sales for 3 months, to present the advantages of the biodegradable bag, and the principles of organic waste collection, with the support of information stands, live characters, the distribution of bags of compost, and entertainment for children, with a free "Happy Mais" toy made of Mater-Bi.

  • The co-marketing operation contributed to getting the Mater-Bi shopping bag better known, more visible, and therefore, purchased more by the consumer:
  • Increase of 30% in sales of the Mater-Bi shopping bag in the April-June quarter (from 710,000 in 2004 to 920,000 in 2005)
  • In Finiper, in 2004, 2.8 million Mater-Bi shopping bags were sold, with an energy saving of 28,000 litres of oil.