trends, sustainability

Looking at 2021: Planet, Projects and People

Posted 20-12-21
4 minute read

2022 is here! So to kick off the New Year here’s a roundup of some key highlights from 2021.

Though 2021 was a challenging year for many in retail, Displayplan continued to deliver visionary brand experiences designed to attract and engage shoppers.

In 2021 community, sustainability and usability have all been significant and integral in our collaborations with retailers and brands. Let’s look back at some of the key stories that have mattered most through the year in the form of our commitments to sustainability, customers and employee milestones.


2021 was the year that sustainability and environmental change came into sharper focus than ever, with the question being asked of all businesses: “What are you really doing to respond to the climate crisis?”

At Displayplan we have continued to be both critical and creative when it comes to confronting the environmental impact of our work.

During 2021, driving sustainability with our customers has been a massive priority for us, with an ongoing focus on being a carbon neutral company since 2020.

In March, we introduced our mission to reduce the embedded carbon in our displays with our Measure. Reduce. Offset. campaign, and we continue to offset our Tier 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions.

We achieve this by measuring and reducing as much of the embedded carbon as possible across the whole life cycle of all of our displays, using Design for Disassembly principles and our Sustainable Design Thinking approach. We then offset the carbon that cannot be eliminated through measurement and reduction.

Displayplan’s commitment to sustainability will continue into 2022 and beyond as part of our contribution to the retail sector’s target of achieving net zero carbon by 2040.



Experiential display has been a major focus for us in 2021 and will continue to be in 2022.

Displayplan collaborated with Boots to create immersive, technology-driven play tables that invite customers to touch, feel and experience high-value electrical beauty products. This project was about placing shopper experience at the heart of the display, using our expertise and learning to create an effective customer journey based around sensory exploration, entertainment and education.

With these Boots play tables, the customer journey starts with eye-catching illuminated category headers and full-length screens displaying video content. The shopper is then presented with a range of ‘lift and learn’ options, whereby lifting the product triggers informational screen content to display product features.

To conclude the experience, shoppers can either purchase the product in store or use a QR code or tablet to connect directly with and place an online order if, for example, the desired product is out of stock.

When it comes to offering shoppers an experience comprising product exploration and physical try out, in-store displays still have the undisputed and unassailable advantage over online shopping. The interactive design of the play tables concept came from a requirement to give shoppers a reason to visit their local Boots store rather than buy online.

We’re pleased to say that our efforts paid off as the Boots play tables project was declared “POPAI Innovation Gold Award Winner” of 2021.


Additionally, Displayplan was awarded the POPAI Sports and Fashion Gold Award for our work with Garmin to create a display for their premium collection of watches.

Garmin wanted a flexible and modular display system with integrated technology and strong security features. The solution was informed by Displayplan’s extensive experience of creating displays that combine functionality with inspirational creative and technical touches. Our display included a new, flexible security system, elegant digital signage providing product information and ‘lift and learn’ technology. Garmin have reported that as a result of our display innovations, theft of devices has decreased while shopper engagement and sales are on the rise.


Our recent collaboration with Hotel Chocolat was designed to bring their festive chocolate range to life. We installed two-sided digital signage display showing a series of enticing animations of Hotel Chocolat products.  One side of the signage faced outward, drawing the attention of passing customers with taste-appealing graphics and the other faced inward, to enhance the shopping experience with product information for shoppers browsing in the store. The products presented in the digital content were displayed physically below the screen, creating a connection between the imaginative and the attainable. This eclectic range of display solutions surrounds the customer in store, creating an immersively engaging audio-visual experience.


We’re thrilled to be celebrating Will Hepworth’s 20-year anniversary as our Creative Design Manager.  Will is an experienced concept designer with a strong technical foundation, having majored in Industrial Design and Technology at Loughborough University. Will’s role at Displayplan has him focusing on brand and retail environments and displays. Will can turn his hand to any task, from creating impulse displays for brands such as Wrigley and delivering complex solutions for consumer electronics brands.

Our congratulations also go to Leon Turney on his 10-year anniversary as Digital and Development Director. Leon’s vision for experiential retail has been chiefly driven by blending digital technology with material displays. With this innovative fusing of media, Leon has been instrumental in creating engaging and creative displays for most of the brands we currently work with.

What next for 2022?

With a new year come new projects, new opportunities to learn and create, new exciting collaborations and new challenges to get stuck into. Whether you’re looking to collaborate on a retail display that brings brand awareness and drives sales or you simply wish to find out more about what we do, speak with one of our specialists on 01462 88 6000 or email