MORE COLLECTIBLES TO BE SEEN AT ARMS

RED BANK, N.J. -- The Association of Retail Marketing Services (ARMS) here will feature wider selections of collectible products in continuity programs at its ARMS Supermarket Promotion Show, Jan. 14 to 17, at the Congress Hotel, Chicago.Cash-register tape redemption and frequent-buyer programs, as well as other loyalty incentives designed to build store traffic, will be highlighted at 60 exhibitor

RED BANK, N.J. -- The Association of Retail Marketing Services (ARMS) here will feature wider selections of collectible products in continuity programs at its ARMS Supermarket Promotion Show, Jan. 14 to 17, at the Congress Hotel, Chicago.

Cash-register tape redemption and frequent-buyer programs, as well as other loyalty incentives designed to build store traffic, will be highlighted at 60 exhibitor booths. Many of the exhibitors will stress lines like collectible tall ships, plush, figurines, dolls and bears, said Geri Hopkins, ARMS executive director. Retails will be priced up to $30, or about $10 higher than the top price point for supermarket continuities last year, she said. Collectibles carry a higher perceived value than dishes or pots and pans and other kitchen-oriented products sold during past shows, Hopkins pointed out.

The move toward higher-priced continuities and decorative accessories, she explained, is in keeping with "a consumer that has higher disposable income and more leisure time, and who wants to dress up her home.

"People have more expendable cash and want better products like solid color Fiestaware dinnerware reminiscent of the 1950s, which is now more popular and very much in demand," Hopkins said.

She said advance show registration by supermarket and wholesaler buyers is up 20% over last year. Most grocery chains that attend the International Housewares Show, Jan. 16 to 19, make it a point to go to the ARMS show.

Robert Pikarsky, buyer, Grand Union, Wayne, N.J, said he would be attending both the housewares and ARMS shows. "The big advantage of the ARMS Show is the number of suppliers tailored to the supermarket business. I think that most retailers attending the show find the majority of their promotions there. We lock in programs for the year," he said.