Monthly Store Watch

February 2024

This store watch there were heaps of seasonal activations in full swing with Mother’s Day, Easter and Ramadan all kicking off soon.

Another common theme were promotions that give back, such as ‘buy a meal, give a meal’ and brands linking to topics such as hygiene poverty.

Brand mascots also playfully poked their head up multiple times and strong brand logos, designs and colours really proved their worth by adding much needed standout.

Full marks go to Cadbury’s who repeatedly spread themselves across multiple occasions across the store with tailored messaging such as a special drinking mug promo in the hot chocolate aisle and a baking offer in the baking aisle.

Sainsbury’sOxford Road, Swindon

Sainsbury’s offers a diverse range of opportunities for brands to talk to customers in store, from trolley panels before they enter, to freezer bays and glass cabinets filled with toys (looking at you Kinder). Hellman’s Slim plinth gondola end was maximised by committing to the brand colours with gusto. Also boldness with blank end formats such as The Vegetarian Butcher seen here were simple and disruptive, reinforcing that simplicity can have huge impact.

Mother’s Day was a key theme with several brands uniting in one gift bay and also retailers creating serving occasions such as a Mother’s Day breakfast section to drive sales in breakfast brands.

TescoOcotal Way, Swindon

The most innovative store on my visit today by far, with digital screens adorning the shelves allowing for big brand messages and promotions. Heinz handled this well, with classy displays that felt more like ads. More mentions go to Oatly who took their branded bay one step further by adding brand messaging to the shelf edge stripping, a space often overlooked. Another highly creative and disruptive brand – Brewdog – are having a bit of fun by directly parodying Guinesses ‘Let’s settle this’ shipper.

Another factor which stood out was the effectiveness of brand mascots such as the Duracell bunny poking his head out at me from behind the Energizer battery character and also the Felix cat, proving that if you have a strong brand character then use it to your advantage wherever you can.

WaitroseMill Lane, Swindon

As is characteristic of Waitrose, there was quite a pared back presence of shopper marketing in store. However, some new innovations such as shelf bus stops were spotted (Itsu). Again, brands were bunched into Mother’s Day promotions and activations felt very appropriate for the premium products and well-off Waitrose crowd, such as the Bonne Maman ‘win a crêpe pan’ promo.

An interesting spot was shopper education being enlisted as a tactic by Lavazza, using boxes placed around their gondola end to teach shoppers the difference between coffees and how to use them. A good way to engage with a high brow audience perhaps. Also relevant to Waitrose is tying in with their much loved recipe cards, which Billington’s has jumped on so effectively.

AsdaHaydon, Swindon

Lots of impressive branded gondola ends in here enabling multiple messaging and creating a big impact. The closed refrigerators pose quite a challenge for brands but I was pleased to see Peperami had snuck their cheeky brand mascot in there and the fact he has infiltrated the glass only made it more attention grabbing.

I’m surprised to not see more freezer window stickers in all honesty, but I did like this frame from Chicago Town that drew me in and used the brand line well. Some nice die-cut options seen in store in Asda, such as this Nando’s branded bay, plus many more.

LidlBarnfield Road, Swindon

Sadly nothing to see in Lidl! I was a Lidl bit disappointed!


It feels like Morrisons takes a real 360 view to shopper marketing, with banners hanging from the ceiling, floor stickers embraced and special build standalones like the St Pierre Eiffel Tower stand and this cute bird seed stand that looks like a homemade bird table in itself.


This appears to be one of the bigger Co-ops but brand activations were few and far between. The ones I did spot seemed to mainly tie in with causes for good – it’s unclear whether this is done deliberately to tie in with Co-op’s ethos but it does add to the community-led feel.