MARKETS HOPING FILM PROMOS SPARK SALES

Supermarkets are taking an aggressive stance on summer film merchandising, using a variety of price promotions and secondary displays to highlight the category.At B&R Stores, Lincoln, Neb., power panels and clip strips positioned at heavily trafficked sites will accent film at reduced retail prices pegged close to Wal-Mart's and Super Kmart's. These displays "have worked well in the past," said Barb

Supermarkets are taking an aggressive stance on summer film merchandising, using a variety of price promotions and secondary displays to highlight the category.

At B&R Stores, Lincoln, Neb., power panels and clip strips positioned at heavily trafficked sites will accent film at reduced retail prices pegged close to Wal-Mart's and Super Kmart's. These displays "have worked well in the past," said Barb Zugmier, nonfood director.

Power panels with mostly single-roll packages will be placed by customer-service areas, at film drop-off areas and at checkouts, she said.

Displaying single film rolls at these high-traffic point-of-purchase areas allows B&R to better compete with retailers in other trade classes. Said Zugmier: "We can't compete with Wal-Mart and Super Kmart on film multipacks."

To stay in the ballpark with mass merchandisers, Zugmier buys single film rolls from a diverter rather than her regular supplier. "Although I still lose money [on the single size], it's not as much [as on the multipacks]," she explained.

B&R plans to merchandise assorted Kodak and Fuji single-roll films this summer in 100, 200, 400 and 800 speeds. "The 24-exposure, 200-speed roll is still our best mover, outselling everything else 3 to 1, although 800 is starting to pick up a little bit," she said.

B&R also will run ads on four-roll packs touting price points that come within about 50 cents of the retails offered at Kmart, she said.

Rosauers Supermarkets, Spokane, Wash., will run summer film ads monthly and at major holiday periods, focusing on 24-exposure rolls of 200- and 400-speed film and single-use flash cameras, said Denny Voight, nonfood buyer/merchandiser.

"Additional displays, power panels or clip strips will also be set up," he said.

Retailers supplied by Associated Grocers, Baton Rouge, La., have had success during the summer season with shippers full of three-roll packs (buy two, get one free), said Claude Millet, general merchandise buyer. "Secondary displays like this, placed at the front end last year, stimulated higher impulse turns without taking away from everyday film sales."

This year, Associated's retailers will likely repeat similar clip-strip promotions at checkout registers for added exposure, he said.

For the summer selling period, Millet will seek out "any deal I can get from a film manufacturer, and I will push that brand at a price point," he said. Color 200-speed film is far and away the top-selling film unit, he said.

During the summer, Associated will repeat a $7.95 Fuji single-use flash-camera promotion that ran in the spring. Millet said single-use cameras do very well at retails between $4.95 and $7.95, and at price points up to $13.89 for Kodak disposable flash cameras.

Homeland Stores, Oklahoma City, will step up its use of film multipacks to fuel its summer film sales, according to Mike Meyer, director of general merchandise and health and beauty care.

Meyer said larger, vendor-promoted film packs -- buy three rolls, get a fourth free, for example -- enhance Homeland's summer film business.

Homeland uses multipack shippers and clip strips for added exposure and the higher ring, Meyer said. He avoids giving out free rolls of film with incoming photo-processing orders "because then it makes it hard to sell film."

Price promotions centered around floor-dumped multipacks will be a focus of summer film activity at Associated Wholesalers, York, Pa. "Mass merchandisers are teaching consumers to buy film in multipacks," said Charles Yahn, vice president of general merchandise.

"We're pushing four-packs of Kodak and controlled-label 200 and 400 speeds this summer," he said. Floor stands will carry signs pointing out a $2 savings on Kodak multipacks to reinforce the value message, he added.

To highlight the film and photo category, Camelia Food Stores, Norfolk, Va., is kicking off the summer season by bringing back photoprocessing at a few stores, said Judy Lane, nonfood buyer. (The chain phased out the service a year and a half ago.)

Camelia is farming out the work to a local photo lab, which Lane declined to identify.

"We want to see if this is a feasible program before expanding it to our other stores," she said.