OPERATIONS

Kroger offers various ways to help the needy during the holidays

BY Michael Johnsen

Cincinnati — To supply families in need with fresh food this holiday season, Kroger customers and associates will be able to purchase pre-filled bags and boxes of food to be added to collection barrels.

"Kroger has a proud history of investing in our communities and a rich tradition of bringing help and hope for the holidays," Lynn Marmer, Kroger’s group VP corporate affairs said. "In keeping with that tradition, we are making it easy for our customers and associates to support their local food banks and The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign in our family of stores this holiday season."

As a founding partner of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger agency, Kroger has been engaged in the hunger relief effort for more than 30 years, the grocer stated. Today, the Kroger family of stores has longstanding relationships with more than 80 local food banks.

This holiday season, customers can also help through a variety of simple donation opportunities. Making a financial donation to a local food bank is as easy as scanning a pre-marked tag at registers, asking the cashier to ’round up’ a grocery order, or place spare change in specially-marked coin boxes at Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Baker’s, Gerbes, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s stores, Kroger stated.

Customers can begin looking for The Salvation Army’s iconic red kettles at the Kroger family of stores from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. Each year, customers and associates generously support The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign that provides food, clothing, toys and social services in the communities where funds are raised.

In 2012, Kroger customers and associates contributed $14.5 million to the campaign, which represents 10% of the total raised nationwide. All funds collected are used locally in the community where the donations are raised.

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Sports Authority holiday campaign urges customers to embrace the gift of sport

BY Vivian Lee

New York — Sports Authority has kicked off its 2013 holiday ad campaign, “There’s Nothing Like the Gift of Sport.” The campaign’s message may resonate with those who are already athletically inclined, but may face challenges with XBox One or PlayStation4 aficionados.

The campaign seeks to persuade people to “unplug” this holiday season and embrace sports, a move which has the potential of generating traffic in stores and online as people shop for everything from sneakers and workout clothes to fitness equipment and sports gear.

TV commercials have begun airing and feature real amateur athletes declaring, “There’s Nothing Like the Gift of Sport.” The campaign then highlights its broad assortment of footwear, apparel and team sports.

“One of the goals for this year’s holiday campaign was to bring to life ‘All Things Sporting Good,’” stated Paul M. Okimoto, CMO of Sports Authority. “We are confident our new campaign will illustrate the enduring moments that the gift of sport offers and get our customers excited to shop at Sports Authority locations and online for their holiday gifts this year.”

To further incentivize people to unplug, the retailer is offering a $500,000 holiday sweepstakes. Now through Dec. 25, customers are eligible to enter every day for the chance to win. Five grand prize winners will win a trip to a live sporting event of their choice, valued at $25,000 each; 100 runners up will win $1,000 shopping sprees; and 100 weekly winners will receive $250 Sports Authority gift cards each.

Headquartered in Englewood, Colo., Sports Authority operates more than 475 locations across 43 states.

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NPD releases holiday gift predictions for 2013

BY Staff Writer

Port Washington, N.Y. — NPD Group has released its 2013 holiday gift predictions for the home.

“Some items on this year’s home holiday shopping lists deliver warmth, and others make it cold; some items are functional, and some are about the fun factor,” said Debra Mednick, executive director and home industry analyst. “Either way, the hottest home categories for the 2013 holiday season are designed to conveniently deliver comfort, improve health, or bestow simple affordable pleasures.”

The research company pointed to the following leading items:

Coffeemakers: All forms, from traditional drip coffee and espresso makers, to single-serve pod machines, are helping to perk up consumers this holiday season.

Food processing and blenders: This year, there is a focus on multifunctional blender/mixer/chopper systems and powerful countertop blenders.

Juice extractors: The current juicing trend and related health benefits will continue to fuel these sales.


Soda makers: This is the latest addition to today’s home, bringing customization, family fun and even environmentally friendly benefits — now with more product options for consumers to choose from than ever before.

Slow cookers: The convenience, versatility and comfort food delivered by these products continues to be popular with consumers.

Popcorn makers: It’s a healthy snack, fun for the family and a perfect fit with increased leisure time at home.

Frozen treat makers: These products delight the whole family with ice cream and frozen yogurt made their way.

Cast iron cookware: With and without enamel coating, this is a classic staple for indoor and outdoor kitchens, appealing to men and women through the benefit of healthy cooking and the convenience of easy cleanup.


Wine glass sets: From the basics to finer options, the selections for connoisseurs and casual wine drinkers are more specialized than ever.


Throws: The holiday season is the perfect time to snuggle up and add a little warmth, while keeping heating costs down.

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