STOP & SHOP PARTICIPATES IN BABY FAIRE

BOSTON -- Stop & Shop Cos. is promoting nonfood baby care needs to new families through its participation this week in Baby Faire, a local baby exhibition here March 25 to 27.As a first-time sponsor at the Baby Faire, which is in its second run and is expected to attract about 15,000 people, the chain will be the only supermarket at the show. Baby Faire provides retailers an exclusive vehicle to market

BOSTON -- Stop & Shop Cos. is promoting nonfood baby care needs to new families through its participation this week in Baby Faire, a local baby exhibition here March 25 to 27.

As a first-time sponsor at the Baby Faire, which is in its second run and is expected to attract about 15,000 people, the chain will be the only supermarket at the show. Baby Faire provides retailers an exclusive vehicle to market their products and services directly to parents and their children.

Stop & Shop's participation in the show will afford the chain "the opportunity to offer new parents a variety of different products and services that will make their life easier," said Terry Vandewater, the retailer's director of communications.

"For example you can go to our 123 stores and at 87, which are super combination stores, pick up a child's medicinal needs if there's a prescription that needs to be filled and find a huge health and beauty care section."

Through its participation in the event, Vandewater said the chain hopes to impress on new parents how Stop & Shop can make their life easier "and eliminate a trip to another drug store."

"We wanted to participate based on the large number of our pharmacies that operate adjacent to HBC in our stores. We also wanted the first-time parent to know they can take advantage of our one-stop shopping and really conserve their time and energy, and that we can help them do that," Vandewater said.

The fair at the Bayside Expo Center here provides Stop & Shop and other businesses at the event an opportunity to educate consumers by interacting directly with them, said Kim Whittaker, the fair's producer.

Stop & Shop will have a 700-square-foot exhibit set up as an interactive pharmacy display "where children and their parents can actually walk behind the drug store's counter and get a bird's eye view of what the pharmacist does," noted Whittaker.

Stop & Shop's display also will provide information on generic drugs, prenatal vitamins, medicine and safety for children.

During the week of the show the chain will highlight baby-related items in full-page circulars, offer cents-off coupons on 25 different products and feature Baby Faire logo shelf tags in store.

Some 26 vendors that supply Stop & Shop with baby-related products also participate in the show and cross-promote their products by identifying strongly with Stop & Shop, the producer added.

Many of the products will focus around baby HBC. Among the products featured will be children's Tylenol, Johnson & Johnson products, Flintstone Vitamins, Crayola products, Ambassador Greetings, Colgate children's dental care line, Evenflo products, Clorox Just for Babies bleach and Cheerios cereal.

General merchandise exhibited at the show will include toys, children's books, photo services and film and video.

Among the approximately 100 exhibitors are Gerber Products, Baby's Room, The baby Depot at Burlington Coat Factory, Weebock, Childproof of New England and Discovery Toys. A portion of the $5 adult ticket price (children are free) will benefit the nonprofit Genesis Fund.