VONS COS. CELEBRATES ITS 90TH ANNIVERSARY

ARCADIA, Calif. -- Vons Cos. here celebrated its 90th anniversary with a 90-cent sale.Ninety-cent specials were offered in several Center Store categories. For instance, the chain's southern California store circulars promoted Gerber baby products at five for 90 cents, along with three varieties of General Mills cereals at $1.90 per box. Only members of the VonsClub frequent shopper program were eligible

ARCADIA, Calif. -- Vons Cos. here celebrated its 90th anniversary with a 90-cent sale.

Ninety-cent specials were offered in several Center Store categories. For instance, the chain's southern California store circulars promoted Gerber baby products at five for 90 cents, along with three varieties of General Mills cereals at $1.90 per box. Only members of the VonsClub frequent shopper program were eligible for these prices, which were valid for one week last month.

"We wanted to thank our store patrons for being valued customers with us for the past 90 years. This [promotion] is just a way of sharing the savings with our patrons and thanking them," said Doug Hendrix, senior communications coordinator at Vons. Hendrix said the chain is pleased with the promotion.

Since promotional activities kicked off in August, several grocery items have retailed at 90 cents, Hendrix said. Produce, meat and fish also have been featured.

Additionally, VonsClub cardholders could enter a sweepstakes to win one of 90 new 1997 Ford Escorts by swiping their card every time they shopped at Vons.

In addition to the sweepstakes and the 90-cent sales, trivia contests and local celebrity appearances helped mark Vons' anniversary in consumers' minds. Those activities were supported with radio broadcasts, television spots, in-store banners, checkout danglers, balloons, lapel pins, newspaper ads, weekly mailers and freeway billboards.