AKRON, Ohio -- Fred W. Albrecht Grocery Co. here teamed up with Keebler Co. in a holiday sales promotion to raise funds for a local children's hospital and distribute teddy bears to sick children at the facility.
Keebler will donate 50 cents per case for all snack crackers and Holidays cookie and crackers sold in Albrecht's Acme supermarkets and Acme SuperCenter stores from Nov. 7 to Dec. 31 to the Children's Hospital Medical Center here.
On Dec. 15, Ernie the Keebler Elf made a personal visit to the hospital to distribute 150 "Nicholas" teddy bears to children there.
"Keebler had special point-of-sale displays made for all 19 locations, where they are merchandising the holiday cookies and snack crackers at store level," said Denise Sheak, an Acme spokeswoman.
"Keebler also gave each store a 3-foot Nicholas bear to put on the display. They had special holiday toppers made, as well as order forms for those customers that wanted to order bears," she said.
Sheak said Albrecht advertised the promotion through its ads, store bulletins and signs. It also sent out press releases.
"The promotion has been a big success so far. We've had a few calls from customers who have been pleased with it, and every time you get involved with the community, everyone gets real excited," she said.
Sam Ferrara, an account manager at Keebler's branch office here, said that while other retailers are participating in the promotion -- Super Kmart Centers is also raising money for Children's Hospital, Ohio IGA stores are raising money for Special Olympics, and Pittsburgh IGAs are raising money for the Make A Wish Foundation -- the idea to distribute the bears was unique to Acme.
"It was Acme's idea to deliver the holiday bears to the children. This is the first time we have done anything like this. We are tying in with the movie 'Miracle on 34th Street.' It is part of a national promotion where we are able to tie in with various charities, and Acme chose Children's Hospital," he told SN.
"The support from the stores has been outstanding. We have developed special [point-of-purchase materials] at our corporate office to put on our displays and shelves to let the customer know what Acme and Keebler are doing. In that respect it is doing well," he said.
Since the fund-raising promotion is still running, Ferrara said he was unable to provide sales information. The donation will be made after the case sales are tallied up.