HARP'S ADDS TO CAPACITY FOR FOOD CONTAINERS

SPRINGDALE, Ark. -- Harp's Food Stores here has added more space to its food storage department to accommodate new colors and styles.Over the past few months, the 39-store chain has expanded sets to 8 feet, up from 2 and 4 feet. The added space is being used for several colors in different sizes, styles and colors. Though clear is the No. 1 selling color, green and periwinkle blue also are in demand.Better-fitting

SPRINGDALE, Ark. -- Harp's Food Stores here has added more space to its food storage department to accommodate new colors and styles.

Over the past few months, the 39-store chain has expanded sets to 8 feet, up from 2 and 4 feet. The added space is being used for several colors in different sizes, styles and colors. Though clear is the No. 1 selling color, green and periwinkle blue also are in demand.

Better-fitting lids and snap closures that characterize many food storage lines on the market today are offering new sales opportunities.

"Food storage is in high demand right now," said Art Bundy, director of nonfood. "People have found many uses for these containers beyond storing food."

The new merchandising strategy has significantly helped sales. Volume soared 40% after the new sets debuted, according to Bundy.

Many selections that retail at $1, two-for-$1 and two-for-$3 are performing better than lower-priced items. "We've had this pricing program in place for some time, and customers like it. They are drawn to the even-dollar price points. They choose these items over several similar or even larger container sizes priced as low as 62 cents," said Bundy. To draw shopper attention to the department, Harp's posts shelf tags similar to those found at dollar discount stores. "Look What a Dollar Buys," some signs read. Many promotions are dollar-day, in-and-out events built around large pallets that hold about 500 nested products. These campaigns usually run in January, at back-to-school and other times throughout the year.

Bundy attends industry trade shows each year to purchase food storage close-out merchandise in a cross section of brands and manufacturers for off-shelf promotions. "We generally buy these products in trailer loads and put them out in stores in large quantities," Bundy said. The mix usually ranges from small half-cup to half-gallon capacity containers. In addition to its own stores, 10 of the 12 stores that Harp's supplies with nonfood also have adopted the new section configuration.