Being a product designer responsible for creating innovative POS solutions, obsessiveness comes with the territory. I’m always thinking about the next big thing in retail and how we can provide products our customers need and want, and that are as environmentally-friendly as possible too.
At Harrison, we’re committed to championing sustainability and developing products that minimise the retail sector’s impact on our planet. While some level of plastic is seemingly unavoidable in our industry, manufacturers and suppliers like us are investing considerable time and money in designing and producing sustainable alternatives.
Finding a solution to an industry-wide problem
Something we found troublesome (up until our lightbulb moment in 2018), was how free-standing display units (FSDUs) were being discarded into landfill, complete with the plastic corr-a-clips that were used to hold the units in place.
After several weeks of scribbling on whiteboards, brainstorming ideas over coffee, evaluating the pros and cons of each suggestion, and generally scratching our heads, we hit upon a solution.
What if we could create a cardboard clip to support a shelf on a FSDU? One that was simple enough to construct and could go into standard recycling streams? And one that was even compostable? The world’s first cardboard corr-a-clip was born!
The global unveiling of our solution
Trials began a few months later, primarily focusing on durability and strength. Then it was time to unveil our latest innovation at the world’s number one retail trade fair: EuroShop 2020 in Dusseldorf. The reception was extremely positive and the orders began pouring in.
That was until Covid-19 arrived one month later and those orders were put on hold while everyone tried to adjust to the new normal. The sudden increase in demand for PPE meant we turned our attention to supplying customers with sneeze screens and hand sanitiser stations instead of corr-a-clips (which wasn’t our typical product offering!).
When life slowly started to get back to normal, we were able to re-focus on the cardboard corr-a-clips and sales began to boom once again. We’re happy to say that millions are now being used across the market.
I’m enormously proud of the product and the team of designers at Harrison. To see another creation brought to life always brings a great sense of achievement, especially one that minimises our impact on the planet. Our cardboard corr-a-clips decompose significantly faster than synthetic materials if they accidentally end up landfill and that’s worth celebrating.
Time to get back to working on our next big innovation!
- Keen to sample our cardboard corr-a-clip? Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pop one in the post.
- Check our our recent article on Exploring Sustainability in Retail for more insight into how the retail industry is responding to changing customer mindsets about the importance of sustainability.
- Read more about how CarbonQuota has officially recognised us a carbon reduced operation.
By Douglas Cook
Product Development Manager
Douglas Cook is a product development manager at Harrison, responsible for overseeing the design, testing, and development of innovative POS and retail solutions. These include the world’s first cardboard corr-a-clip and a range of biodegradable EcoPlastic products.
Douglas is passionate about the retail industry along with the exciting opportunities and challenges it presents. Working with his team of talented designers, he loves bringing new products and solutions to market, overcoming obstacles, and challenging the norm.
A Harrison employee for more than 15 years, Douglas has worked in several departments including purchasing and the warehouse. With a thorough understanding of product capabilities, he and the team create robust, sustainable, and cost-effective solutions.