KROGER PLANS IN-STORE AD ROLLOUT IN LOUISVILLE

CINCINNATI -- Kroger Co. here is planning to implement an in-store promotion program aimed at increasing national manufacturers' product sales in its Louisville marketing area.The advertising system, which will be installed at 90 stores in Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana, uses multisized strategically placed in-store signs to inform consumers about specific purchase opportunities."We are looking [to

CINCINNATI -- Kroger Co. here is planning to implement an in-store promotion program aimed at increasing national manufacturers' product sales in its Louisville marketing area.

The advertising system, which will be installed at 90 stores in Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana, uses multisized strategically placed in-store signs to inform consumers about specific purchase opportunities.

"We are looking [to implement the program] the first week of November," said Don Barnett, spokesman for Kroger.

The signs, which are provided by a third party, display information about a manufacturer's product and the retailer determines the price for the product. Manufacturers contract with the third party to promote their products through the retailer's in-store signs.

Before the promotional signs are produced, the retailer's buying office is contacted to set the promoted product's price, said a source familiar with the situation.

The in-store ad campaign rollout comes on the heels of a successful summer pilot performed at one Kroger Louisville marketing area store.

"The test period went well and customers seemed to respond well to it," Barnett told SN. "We just basically felt it was an added value to our customers to choose items based upon preferences," he added.

Several other Kroger marketing areas already have the in-store advertising program up and running, according to Barnett.

Some of the signs, which are designed with Kroger's logo and colors and run in a two-week cycle, measure 7 inches by 11 inches and are used for produce areas or special displays. Signs that measure 5.5 inches by 7 inches are referred to as shelf-talkers.

The Point of Purchase Services program, from Insignia Systems Inc., Minneapolis, also provides manufacturers shorter lead times, no production costs, and micromarketing capabilities such as store-specific messaging and multiple-language options, according a source familiar with the situation.