RETAILERS PLAY SANTA CLAUS TO SHOPPERS

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Now that the holiday season is here, retailers are showing they're in the gift-giving spirit with a variety of promotions targeting customers who shop Center Store.Among them, Bashas' here awarded $25 gift cards to all shoppers who buy select groceries; and Albertsons, Boise, Idaho, has teamed with Kimberly-Clark Corp. to provide $500 gift cards to 10 shoppers who purchase certain

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Now that the holiday season is here, retailers are showing they're in the gift-giving spirit with a variety of promotions targeting customers who shop Center Store.

Among them, Bashas' here awarded $25 gift cards to all shoppers who buy select groceries; and Albertsons, Boise, Idaho, has teamed with Kimberly-Clark Corp. to provide $500 gift cards to 10 shoppers who purchase certain baby categories.

Under the Bashas' "Holiday Rewards" program, customers who bought $50 worth of participating products with their Bashas' loyalty card between Nov. 10 and Dec. 7 earned a $25 Westcor gift card. Westcor operates shopping malls in many of Bashas' markets, including Metro Phoenix, Tucson, Prescott and Flagstaff, Ariz.

More than 20 products were featured, including Quaker instant oatmeal, Rice-A-Roni, Coca-Cola, Dasani water, Keebler Town House crackers, Lay's potato chips and Breyers ice cream. Brands were selected based on sales in their respective categories.

"This program provides our customers with a relevant, timely and valuable reward for shopping with us during the holiday season," Dallas Bennewitz, Bashas' vice president, marketing and advertising, told SN. "It is our way of saying 'thank you' to our customers."

Bashas', Westcor and vendor partners shared in funding the program.

Gift cards were due to be issued with the first loyalty card purchase beginning Dec. 10, and they must be redeemed by Dec. 31.

In addition to the gift card, customers who bought eligible brands with their loyalty cards between Nov. 10 and Dec. 7 were automatically entered into the Bashas' Holiday Reward sweepstakes for a $250 Westcor gift card. Twenty winners will be announced.

"This is a great program that allows customers to purchase groceries and earn money toward a gift certificate at the same time," Bennewitz added.

Bashas' publicized the promotion in several ways. Special lobby displays featuring the participating items were signed with shelf talkers, banners and danglers. Likewise, store entrances had signs that communicated the program and contained shopping lists of all participating products.

Meanwhile, Albertsons' holiday promotion is running at the company's Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco and Sav-on banner stores. It's called "Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas" in honor of the Disney movie just released on video and DVD.

Prizes include 10 $500 Albertsons gift cards that can be used "for holiday shopping sprees," Albertsons wrote in promotional materials. Huggies bibs and T-shirts, and Gerber feeding spoons are among the prizes. An Albertsons spokeswoman declined to comment.

Participating products include Kimberly-Clark's Huggies, Pull-Ups and GoodNites brands, along with Enfamil Next Step baby formula, Gerber Lil' Entrees, Gerber "2nd" foods, and Disney's "Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas" DVD.

Customers are automatically registered to win when they purchase any of the featured items with their loyalty card.

The marketing plan includes multiple ads, direct mail, custom Disney shippers, in-store promotional materials and public relations, according to Jana Collier, customer marketing director of Dallas-based Kimberly-Clark.

"A 360-degree marketing plan was developed with Albertsons and our partners," said Collier.

The promotion ties in with new Disney designs featured on Huggies' "Baby Shaped" diapers.