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Make or break – key packaging tips for high-end homeware products

We speak to Emma Whitaker, Diamond Logistics’ packaging specialist, about the best packaging for high-end homeware, and the government’s plastic tax.

  

What are the hot topics in packaging right now?

Retailers want (and need) sustainable packaging. The government is introducing a plastic tax which comes into effect from April 2022.  

 

And what trends are you seeing within high-end homeware retail? 

People seem to be moving away from the norm, exploring new brands and niche items. The popularity of our high-end clients like Rory Dobner and Latzio, which are also stocked in department stores like Fortnum & Mason, shows that people are moving towards quality over quantity. 

 

What is the plastic tax? 

The new tax applies to plastic packaging produced in, or imported into the UK that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic.  

It will not apply to any plastic packaging which contains at least 30% recycled plastic, or any packaging which is not predominantly plastic by weight. 

Imported plastic packaging will be liable to the tax, whether the packaging is unfilled or filled. 

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Which packaging is best for luxury homeware products?  

Because we specialise in high-end homeware we store and transport a lot of ceramics and super fragile items. We’ve done our best to remove plastic – which is important to our clients – but so is getting the product to the customer in one piece. 

If we’re sending a ceramic vase for example, we usually include inflatable recycled plastic packaging made with lower micron materials.  

It’s important to find the right balance, which tends to be a mix of paper and recycled plastic. 

 

What about homeware products which are less fragile? 

We tend to use a product called Geami if it’s small and semi-fragile. Geami is produced by a company called Ranpack.  It’s 100% recyclable and biodegradable protective paper – a nice alternative to bubble wrap. Quite often packaging isn’t pretty, but this is. 

I call it a giftable version of bubble wrap. 

It’s attractive because it concertinas into a honeycomb layer around the product. The cells interlock to firmly secure the items 

Some of our clients provide very specific instructions for their boxed items which our Service Centre teams will follow. This is to ensure that every item is constructed to the same high standard and is dispatched in the layout they expect – whether it’s box one or box 501 – they should look exactly the same. 

 

What about the customer experience? 

We produce luxury packaging for Rory Dobner. We include a thank you postcard in an envelope which has a gold embossed logo on the front. It’s beautiful. We also include the order slip with a branded sticker on it. 

If customers have a good un-boxing experience they’ll talk about the brand in a positive light. That’s really where we want to be. Supporting our luxury brands in providing this type of experience.  

Customers receive a boutique experience from these luxury retail brands which is similar to a high-end department store. Beautifully wrapped and sealed.  

 

And what about the box itself? 

We use as standard double wall corrugate boxes here at Diamond, which isn’t always the standard across fulfilment centres. We want to ensure the products are as protected as possible to ensure safe delivery, but some clients use an e-com boxes which open like a pizza box, so it lifts at the front. 

This type of box is a brilliant marketing tool which people outside the packaging industry are only just starting to learn about.  

A design or branding is printed on the inside rather than the outside. 

By printing on the inside you get the wow factor as it’s opened. You lift the lid and there’s the brand with a message or perhaps the company slogan. It’s a nice surprise for the customer. 

 

And the large luxury homeware items? 

We do move a variety of big and bulky items alongside Network Partners which specialise in two- ‘man’ delivery. With these items it’s more about the convenient delivery of the item than the packaging experience.  

Within Diamond there is always a reliable delivery solution for large homeware products. Whether it’s a carrier option through our multi-carrier services or our own courier drivers delivering it, we can provide the support. 

 

 

If you’re a luxury homeware brand and you would like to learn more about how Diamond Logistics can support your fulfilment operation – from packaging to tech – complete the following form: 

 

Topics: Diamond Logistics Deliveries, Technology including despatchlab, Fulfilment and e-commerce, Delivery and Logistics, Packaging

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