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Smurfit Kappa Opens Second U.K. Experience Center

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Smurfit Kappa, Ireland, has opened a new Experience Center in Mold, North Wales, U.K., bringing to seven the number of regional centers across Europe. The center gives customers hands-on, real-time insights into how to meet their business needs, and does so through the implementation of packaging and service innovations. It follows the opening in 2012 of the first U.K. Experience Center in Yate, South-West England. 
 
Working with the Smurfit Kappa team, visitors to the Mold Experience Center will be able to immerse themselves in the latest insights and experience first-hand the latest in packaging and service innovation. The center is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies and tools, such as a Virtual Store, a Retail Insight Center, a Shelf Viewer, and a full screen cinema room. 
 
The Mold center is the latest in a series of centers that have opened across Europe as part of Smurfit Kappa's "Open the Future" global brand strategy. Aimed at delivering customer growth through insight and innovation, the strategy is also being used to aid brands battling to win the "First Moment of Truth," where shoppers choose one brand over another.
 
According to analysis revealed in the Smurfit Kappa report Marketing on the shelf - exactly how in control are you?, up to 40% of a product viewed on-shelf can be made up of secondary packaging, a valuable marketing channel that too often falls outside the radar of brand teams. 
 
Arco Berkenbosch, VP of marketing, research, and development at Smurfit Kappa, said that "these centers are an innovative and refreshing environment where we want to invite our customers, to inspire them and show them first-hand how we can help them to be even more successful in their respective markets."
 
Phil Husband, Smurfit Kappa U.K. packaging development manager, added that "by opening the center in Mold, we are able to offer a localized service that supports businesses based around the region. Visiting the Experience Center will create a situation where we can clearly define our customers' needs in the world where our customers are operating."
 
Smurfit Kappa's two U.K. Experience Centers join a network being rolled out in Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Ireland, and Spain. The hub, one of the largest packaging Experience Centers in the world, is due to open in spring 2015 at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.  
 
Berkenbosch noted that "these centers enable us to share our global expertise at a local level directly to the customer. They can then evaluate, tailor, and test the packaging in the center, before any financial investment has been made."
 

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