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IGA effort boosts basket size, Batenic says

IGA said members have been able to double and in some cases triple basket sizes over the five-month period since it began aggregating sales information from member companies in the U.S.  and negotiating unique deals with vendors.

Speaking with SN yesterday — shortly after the close of IGA's Global Rally in Las Vegas — Mark Batenic, president and CEO of IGA, Chicago, said the organization has been collecting data from the daily transactional logs of more than 600 U.S. members since mid-2013 as part of its Performance Insights project and hopes the program will encompass all 1,153 member stores within 18 months before IGA considers an international rollout of the program.


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"The data has always been there, but most independent operators were reluctant to share it," Batenic explained.  "But once we earned their trust, companies began sharing, and that collective information has enabled us to use the data to negotiate deals that are boosting sales. 

"With this program, we have solid results that prove what we're doing is effective and lets the manufacturers know IGA stores can generate sales and increase basket size with strong promotions."

Batenic said the increases in basket size were better than IGA had anticipated, though he declined to be more specific.

Read more: IGA launches new fund-raisers

One of IGA's Red Oval manufacturer partners has participated in each monthly promotion, Batenic said,  including J.M. Smucker Co., Kraft Foods, Unilever and Coca-Cola — plus an IGA-brands promotion in January — with Nabisco and Nestle set for promotions in the next couple of months.

IGA is already working on a second phase of Performance Insights with a single-store test that allows shoppers to receive coupons and other promotional material through their mobile phones — a test that will be expanded to nine more IGA stores within the next 30 days for tests of 60 to 90 days.  If the program is as successful as IGA hopes, Batenic said it would be rolled out to all members within 18 months.

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