BI-LO MORE THAN TRIPLES RICE SALES, WINS AWARD

HOUSTON--Creative displays, product sample giveaways and in-store demonstrations helped Bi-Lo Store #170, Charleston, S.C., increase rice sales by 360% in one month, securing the store's grand prize victory in the 1999 Retailer Display Contest, sponsored by the USA Rice Federation here.During National Rice Month last September, more than 8,000 displays were set up in independent and chain stores nationwide.Bi-Lo

HOUSTON--Creative displays, product sample giveaways and in-store demonstrations helped Bi-Lo Store #170, Charleston, S.C., increase rice sales by 360% in one month, securing the store's grand prize victory in the 1999 Retailer Display Contest, sponsored by the USA Rice Federation here.

During National Rice Month last September, more than 8,000 displays were set up in independent and chain stores nationwide.

Bi-Lo took the meal-solutions approach, arranging a large lobby display with about 150 cases of rice surrounded by tie-ins such as soy sauce, water chestnuts, bell peppers, onions and cooking spices, store manager Clyde Farmer told SN.

Shoppers that regularly frequent the upscale store don't normally buy a lot of rice, he said, but may have been influenced by "the suggestiveness of complete meals," something Bi-Lo has been promoting heavily storewide through endcaps.

Farmer's store also distributed recipes and promoted the staple through advertising and couponing.

A floor-to-ceiling display of 33 different rice products also boosted rice sales at the Fair Avenue IGA, Hamilton, Ohio, by 350% in Sept., landing the retailer first in the independent category of the contest. IGA also supplied bag-stuffers and cross-merchandising displays.

Farmer and IGA store manager Denis FitzGibbon both received $1,000 for their efforts.