IN-STORE BANKS SEEN AS MONEY MAKERS

RICHMOND, Va. (FNS) -- In-store banks can be successful if the bank and supermarket are close partners, said one bank president at the recent Global Business Research In-Store Banking Conference in Orlando, Fla.John Presley, president of First Market Bank in Richmond, Va., said supermarkets might want to consider the model of the close partnership between First Market and Ukrop's Super Markets here.Presley

RICHMOND, Va. (FNS) -- In-store banks can be successful if the bank and supermarket are close partners, said one bank president at the recent Global Business Research In-Store Banking Conference in Orlando, Fla.

John Presley, president of First Market Bank in Richmond, Va., said supermarkets might want to consider the model of the close partnership between First Market and Ukrop's Super Markets here.

Presley noted that 51% of First Market Bank is owned by Ukrop's and 49% is owned by National Commerce Bancorporation. Jim Ukrop, chairman of Ukrop's, is chairman of the board of First Market.

"It's wonderful how they have helped the bank become known in the community," said Presley. Advertising costs to launch the bank about a year ago were shared and, in some cases, Ukrop's picked up the tab. Joint ads have been placed on billboards and trucks. "They've been doing business in the community for 60 years and are very community-minded and that has helped," Presley added.

Referring to the marketing- and selling-oriented aspects of their businesses, Ukrop said, "The bank is doing many of the same things as the supermarket, but the products are different."

After about 16 months in the business, First Market has 16 branches in Ukrop's stores and four freestanding locations.

Tagging on to Ukrop's customer loyalty program has also helped First Market grow. Frequent shoppers carry a joint First Market/Ukrop's check card and Ukrop's Valued Customer card. After customers collect a certain number of points for using banking services and buying products in Ukrop's stores, the points can be redeemed quarterly for Ukrop's gift certificates.