'TASTE OF ITALY' SIGNS ARE SET TO ENRICH ALL ZALLIE STORES

CLEMENTON, N.J. -- Special signs used for an Italian store-within-a-store section at a Zallie Supermarkets unit are slated to be put up in two other Zallie stores.The signs, "A Taste of Italy," are planned for the retailer's Laurel Hill and Berlin, N.J., units. The sign, which occupies 170 linear feet is presently in use at the retailer's Glassboro, N.J., unit, according to Bruce Zallie, vice president

CLEMENTON, N.J. -- Special signs used for an Italian store-within-a-store section at a Zallie Supermarkets unit are slated to be put up in two other Zallie stores.

The signs, "A Taste of Italy," are planned for the retailer's Laurel Hill and Berlin, N.J., units. The sign, which occupies 170 linear feet is presently in use at the retailer's Glassboro, N.J., unit, according to Bruce Zallie, vice president of merchandising for Zallie's here, which is an affiliate of Wakefern Food Corp., Elizabeth, N.J.

The sign highlights a new section that is the retailer's most ambitious micromarketing foray yet. It is an expanded version of store-within-a-store programs in operation at Laurel Hill and Berlin.

"Pasta and Italian foods are hot commodities. A few years ago, I got the idea to highlight DeCecco imported Italian pasta, which was gaining in popularity," explained Zallie.

As a result, the retailer changed the way the mix was merchandised at its Berlin store. The assortment was taken out of the grocery aisle and put into a special promotional area with other imported pasta and some glass jar items, like sun-dried tomatoes, stuffed eggplant and mushrooms.

"We had tremendous results," he said.

Based on that success, Zallie later added a 17-foot Italian specialty section to its Laurel Hill unit, near the store's entrance. It debuted "A Taste of Italy" in its Glassboro unit this year. The retailer expects the additional signs at its Laurel Hill and Berlin units to draw even more attention to the Italian sections in those stores.

In addition to being bigger than the sections in the other stores, "A Taste of Italy" features all the Italian grocery products carried by the Glassboro store, both imported and domestic.

Zallie's has earmarked about one-fifth of two grocery aisles for the Italian section, which uses 65 feet of regular shelving and 40 feet of Metro shelving, set up in a zig-zag fashion, which creates a "shop-around" effect, according to a store-level source.

"It entices a shopper to literally shop all the Italian condiments. It creates the [ambience] of an Italian market," he said.

The section is decorated with green, white and red crepe paper, which hangs in the center of the aisle. A sign reading "A Taste of Italy" marks the area. The sign has a map of Italy printed on it. Several brands in the section are printed on either side of the map.

In addition to imported and imported olive oils a variety of peppers, antipasto ingredients, tomato products and condiments are also offered.

Zallie is pleased with the results so far. Previous efforts in the other two locations have shown that the movement of pasta alone increased four-fold once the section became a permanent fixture in those stores.