Ukrop's Makes Wellness a Storewide Initiative

Ukrop's Super Markets here, led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bobby Ukrop, is considered one of the best supermarket retailers in the country at merchandising health and wellness. The 28-store chain is known for its rigorous promotional schedule in which it ties in health screenings with product and nutrition information to create

Ukrop's Makes Wellness a Storewide Initiative

RICHMOND, Va. — Ukrop's Super Markets here, led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bobby Ukrop, is considered one of the best supermarket retailers in the country at merchandising health and wellness.

The 28-store chain is known for its rigorous promotional schedule in which it ties in health screenings with product and nutrition information to create a holistic approach to wellness.

“We make an effort to differentiate ourselves by offering a number of value-added services,” John Beckner, director of pharmacy and wellness services at the chain, told SN in a previous interview. For example, “health screenings are an excellent opportunity to drive customers into your store.”

Jim Wisner, president, Wisner Marketing, Libertyville, Ill., said Ukrop's is “probably the best” of all supermarket operators in terms of tying in health-related promotions throughout the store.

“If there is something going on involving health and wellness, from immunization clinics to diabetes screenings, they are probably doing it,” he said. “They also do a lot of theme merchandising throughout the year, they have a lot going on for women's health month, for men's health month — they work through the calendar very effectively, and they tie in the entire store.”

The Ukrop's staff is also well trained to help drive whatever promotions are currently running in the stores, especially the pharmacists — “It's pretty remarkable what they do with their people,” Wisner said.

In the stores' extensive natural and organic food areas, for example, Ukrop's staffs the departments with employees who are available to answer people's questions and who work hand in hand with employees in other departments.

“Those people know that if they are going to be talking about cardiovascular health, these are the products they need to be talking about from a food standpoint,” Wisner explained.

The company also has a monthly cable-TV call-in show in which pharmacists are available to discuss health-related issues. Those programs are also themed to the wellness merchandising, clinics and screenings that are taking place at that time, according to Wisner.

In addition to shelf tagging that highlights the health benefits of certain foods, Ukrop's also uses a swirl logo called “Sunny” to brand its in-store Wellness Centers.