How client relationships evolve through the years

Posted 01-09-22
3 minute read

As we approach a major milestone in our journey, we’ve been thinking about how many of our important and valued client relationships have evolved over the years we’ve been working together. In this blog, we look back over the decades since we first began and fill in a few blanks in our history timeline for anyone curious in knowing how we’ve evolved from the 1980s to the present day.

In the beginning


Displayplan was founded by two friends who created a business based on fast turnaround designs and excellent prices.

The initial focus was on great designs and low-cost supply chain for UK brands needing permanent and card-based displays for impulse. Whilst we created and developed the designs, the product was (and is) outsourced to vendor-partners to manufacture.


We recognised the need for a reliable low-cost supply base. We developed new partners in Europe and established China based supply chain and support team.

Focus shifts to permanent display only for our key client base and partnerships extend to like-minded companies in North America.


Insights join aesthetics to inform the “why” behind display solutions. RoDI (Return on Display Investment) tool introduced to support fact-based decision making.

Brands’ reliance on supplier-partners and reduced headcount leads to practical retail expertise gap. Displayplan introduces shopper & retail trends analysis, insights and strategic thinking to benefit clients. We move towards service partner model to help brand clients across procurement, sales, brand management and trade marketing.  

Capabilities extend beyond cost-driven approach to performance-based best solution thinking. We start helping clients sell display solutions to their retailers. Sustainable design approaches introduced to enable effective display recycling through dis-assembly.

As part of Leggett & Platt, Displayplan expands global retail knowledge enabling us to share best practices across regions.


Management buy-out. Our services evolve into direct support for retailers as we understand shoppers, brands, sustainability and retail environments. 

Strategic approach now based on ROI solutions leads client relationships into integrated digital and technologies, starting with lighting, movement and shopper-stopping solutions.


Laser-focus on retail experiences that perform for our clients. Solutions include physical display, technology and digital aimed at engaging, surprising and delighting shoppers to draw them in. All supported with our sustainable thinking and behaviour.

Mars-Wrigley evolution of our relationship


Focus was on physical product placement within convenience stores. Wrigley becomes one of Displayplan’s key customers alongside Walkers (then Smith’s crisps). Wire-based displays at till points in the UK market to drive impulse sales.  Good value, functional and fit for purpose.


Continuing work with Mars and Wrigley UK.

Our relationship extends to Mars UK/Germany and Wrigley USA.

  • Hanging Bag Tower was our first Mars client winning display
  • Pouch launch (including POPAI 2005 display of the year)
  • Bambino: Countertop display with adjustable width can hold standard-to-king size chocolate bars
  • CMU-21 system: Display with integrated lighting helps achieve double digital sales growth


Mars and Wrigley merger.

By 2019 Displayplan now services European countries including France and Nordics with impulse displays.

  • Modular, component-based systems speed up product development cycles and reduce costs
  • Anti-shrink solutions for large format grocery.


Displayplan named as permanent display partner for Europe across all categories – chocolate, gum, mints, food and pet.

  • Colourwall for M&M’s with controlled dispensing system.
  • EVO modular system working across all display types.
  • Europe-wide solutions, modular platform-based approaches.

Braun growing together


Large presenters allow shoppers to lift, touch and feel products with specific cradles that secure and restrict theft. Features and benefits printed on the display for shopper education, although this is restricted by the physical space available.


Braun Series 9: Giant motorized shaver head brings theatre in-store to show off key features of all-new shaver. Delivered worldwide to support the product launch.


Pop-up shops designed with the global team create great success when placed in shopping malls to create strong brand destinations. Shoppers can discover and compare products across full Braun product family. Sales at pop-up shops placed across the China market are 15% higher than shop-in-shops inside other retail stores.


Touch and feel displays evolved into highly-specialised stand-up inserts allowing shoppers to lift product easily, compare and discover multiple features to suit their needs. Stretch screens and updatable content enable detailed product information to be shared and compared.


The power of smart phones has grown as shoppers become confident using in-store. Using QR codes gives additional level to learn more about products through and specific tailored content.


Play Tables were initially launched in Boots UK as a destination in-store. After refinement the principles have been applied and extended across Braun shop-in-shops across Netherlands and Italy.