UPSCALE LINE OF CARDS SET FOR TEST AT THREE CHAINS

CHICAGO -- Stop & Shop Supermarket Co., Quincy, Mass.; Giant Food, Landover, Md.; and Kroger's Dillon Stores division, Hutchinson, Kan., will test 8- to 16-foot displays of upscale InterArt greeting cards in selected stores in July.The cards, priced from $1.50 to $3.50, appeal to "an educated, more affluent, upscale shopper," said Jacqueline Pierson, national account manager for InterArt, Bloomington,

CHICAGO -- Stop & Shop Supermarket Co., Quincy, Mass.; Giant Food, Landover, Md.; and Kroger's Dillon Stores division, Hutchinson, Kan., will test 8- to 16-foot displays of upscale InterArt greeting cards in selected stores in July.

The cards, priced from $1.50 to $3.50, appeal to "an educated, more affluent, upscale shopper," said Jacqueline Pierson, national account manager for InterArt, Bloomington, Ind. Hallmark Cards, St. Louis, acquired the social expressions company last fall. InterArt announced the limited-store test at the Food Marketing Institute's annual convention here last week.

The product line, which includes Mary Engelbreit, the Boyds Bears Collection and Holly Pond Hill, will be displayed in-line at the chains' 150- to 180-foot Expressions From Hallmark card departments, said the supplier. The tests will run three months.

"We want to see if the cards stand out among the regular EFH products or if a freestanding fixture works better," Pierson explained.

It's expected InterArt's contemporary selection will appeal to the shopper who goes to a specialty store to buy greeting cards. "This is someone who generally goes outside the grocery market, typically to a gift store to buy a card," said Pierson.

This is the first distribution of the line to conventional supermarkets. InterArt cards are being sold in natural-food stores -- Fresh Fields, Whole Foods Market Inc. and Wild Oats Markets.