Case Study
Tim Hortons

Case Study

Tim Hortons: Efficient Material Delivery for Store Launch

Supporting a rapid store expansion programme in the UK

Industry: Food & Beverage

Number of employees: 5K +

#graphicdesign #print #display #merchandise #fulfilment #storage #delivery #stockmanagement #foodandbeverage

The client

Canadian coffee and fast food retailer Tim Hortons has a long heritage in North America. It launched its first UK store in Glasgow and now has over 30 outlets. Tim Hortons retail a broad-ranging menu of hot and cold beverages, breakfast, lunch and baked goods, the brand has a passion for fresh food, and its hot dishes are always made to order.

Building on its success, Tim Hortons has plans to expand its portfolio of UK stores by a further 20 during 2021.

The challenge

Tim Hortons approached Print Data Solutions in its search for a partner that it could rely on to support its rapid store expansion programme. Following an initial meeting early in 2017, the first store opened in June of that year, with 16 outlets coming on stream by December.

PDS was required to support the UK marketing team to help devise appealing campaign and sales promotion materials and produce all the collateral needed for a successful store launch. Critically, PDS was challenged with supporting the launch of multiple stores against very tight deadlines.

Key challenges

  • Tim Hortons needed display materials, collateral and merchandise just in time to minimise trading downtime.

  • PDS were required to support multiple store launches against very tight deadlines.

  • Store launch dates were often only confirmed a few days before go-live.

  • Materials frequently had to be updated at the eleventh hour.

The solution

Typically, the team at PDS would receive three months’ notice of a store opening but go-live dates were not usually known until just a few days before. PDS was required to liaise with the fit-out team and produce display materials, marketing collateral and merchandise just in time to prevent any loss of trading days.

PDS designed and produced vinyl window displays announcing upcoming openings and dressed new stores with point-of-sale material, posters, and counter-shelf displays. Materials and merchandise were also created to support sales promotions, including fliers for distribution in local Students’ Unions and giveaways such as branded rain jackets, USBs and umbrellas.

Materials ranged from generic stock items, including price lists and menus, to bespoke items that needed the launch date and opening times to be dropped in at the eleventh hour before despatch. Pallets of items were colour-coded

before being delivered to the new stores so that staff could easily access materials with a limited shelf-life and use them immediately.

Turnaround times were often so tight that materials were printed within four hours of receiving the final sign-off. This was assisted with setting up templates in advance to that final details could be added at the end of the process. With 12 outlets opening during the same week, the team at PDS worked with military precision to ensure that materials were produced efficiently and precisely on time.

Following the successful store launches, PDS has continued supporting seasonal promotional campaigns for Christmas, St Valentine’s Day and Easter, producing tray liners, table talkers, banners and tee shirts based on a two-week turnaround.

The project team

Dan Woodgates (Relationship Manager), Sam Sturman (Client Services Manager), Kate Shelton (Finance Director), Sarah Parker (Account Executive), Jamie Duthie (Logistics), Monika Zukowska (Mailing & Fulfilment Manager)

Dan Woodgates

Dan Woodgates

Relationship Manager

Sam Sturman

Sam Sturman

Client Services Manager

Kate Shelton

Kate Shelton

Finance Director

Sarah Parker

Sarah Parker

Account Executive

Jamie Duthie

Jamie Duthie



Monika Zukowska

Mailing & Fulfilment Manager

Interested in how PDS can help you deliver solutions across our service pillars?

Key outcomes

  • PDS worked with precision to accommodate last-minute changes and produce materials just on time.

  • Templates enabled PDS to print materials within four hours of final sign off.

  • Successfully managed up to 12 store openings simultaneously (same week).

  • Tim Hortons kept its promises to customers by fulfilling complex orders accurately.

The results

Tim Hortons depended on PDS’s efficiency and flexibility to deliver multiple simultaneous store openings. Timescales were, by necessity, tight, and PDS helped the brand to keep its promises to customers by fulfilling complex orders that met strict deadlines. The brand required multiple items of print material and merchandise and benefited from being able to source these from one supplier partner. Inevitably, print materials were subject to last-minute changes, and PDS could easily accommodate these.

PDS now has over 30 products in stock for Tim Hortons that can be called off when required using the PDS+ online ordering system, enabling easy access to its frequently-used items. Using multiple services from PDS, including print, logistics and fulfilment, Tim Hortons gained the peace of mind to focus on delivering great coffee and fresh food to delight its new customers.

“With an ambitious growth plan to add a new Tim Hortons restaurant to every major town and city across the UK, PDS has been an invaluable partner to ensure this runs smoothly. From keeping up to date with our stock levels to allow quick and instant dispatches for restaurants that jump up the timings list, to creating editable templates for us to make bespoke location adjustments easily to flyers, and always being at the end of the phone to assist with any unexpected issues or changes, we couldn’t do it without them. In these high-pressure environments, with lots of things going on all at once, PDS are a constant we can rely on and who really do add value.”

Lead Marketing Manager

Need help streamlining your store openings and fulfilment processes?

With expertise in design, logistics, and fulfilment, PDS can help you produce high-quality display materials, marketing collateral, and merchandise just in time to prevent any loss of trading days. Our on-demand platform, PDS+ also allows you to control marketing materials management autonomously, with the ability to call off items as needed. Find out more about our end-to-end services, arrange a call.