Retailing comprises the activities involved in offering goods for sale to the general public.
In most cases the consumer can inspect the product and choose at the point of sale, stores and supermarkets. Retailers often market their own private brands alongside other producers’ branded products. They are therefore involved in all the aspects of package specification, including the choice of paperboard.
In case of mail order, internet sales, vending machines and the issuing of prescription medicines in pharmacies, the customer does not handle the goods prior to purchase. Packaging protection and information are vital to meet functional needs and emotional satisfaction (post-purchase satisfaction). The package is the last part of the brand communication chain, as it is often kept for storage, e.g. CDs and perfume bottles.

The retailing requirements of a package are listed below:
• Brand appeal.
• Transit packages for packaged and graphical products must arrive in good condition, thereby ensuring that the contents are also in good condition.
• The transit packages should be convenient for transportation, handling, opening, and recycling.
• Unit packages should be convenient for stacking and display. They should be shelf-stable and make optimum use of the space available.
• Unit packages should have structural and graphical designs which promote the product. The graphics should be appealing, distinctive and informative.
• Unit packaging should provide appropriate protection for the product to prevent damage and maintain the quality of the contents.
• Unit packages should conveniently conform to the needs of the retailer in respect of store handling,
e.g. bar codes, ability to apply labels, provide tamper evidence, safety in handling and in packing at check-outs. Equally, the requirement to complete the sale safely and conveniently applies to mail order, internet sales, vending, and prescription dispensing.
• Primary and/or secondary (display trays) packaging needs to conform to the retailers’ shelf space standards and to their standard transit packaging sizes.

Key paperboard characteristics

These characteristics will vary depending on the type of product being considered. Guidance is given for major end uses at
In general the paperboard characteristics necessary will be those providing promotional and protective features. These features may vary from surface and structural appearance to box compression strength and taste and odour neutrality.

Key properties

Key paperboard features for the retailing process:
• Print reproduction (whiteness, gloss, smoothness)
• Product protection (stiffness, compression strength, tearing resistance, water absorption, taste and odour neutrality)
• Designability (Good creasing, embossing and folding characteristics, gluability)
• Wide grammage and thickness range enables a well-adapted choice, depending on protection and performance need.
There is also an important environmental dimension for the manufacturer and retailer to consider which is consumer driven. Certification schemes, such as PEFC and FSC, have been introduced to ensure a sustainable chain of custody from the forest to the consumer. Details regarding certifications are available on


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