BREA, Calif. -- Albertson's Southern California division here has stepped up its competitive marketing with more frequent theme promotions, local observers told SN.
"Albertson's is getting much more creative than they have been," an industry observer in the Los Angeles area told SN.
Officials at the chain's division did not return phone calls, but the observers told SN that the chain is now typically supporting advertising circulars with special theme island displays set up in the lobby or toward the front of the store.
"They have been successful in doing a lot more small theme events that combine a lot of products. They run Italian themes at least once a quarter. It is a new tack that they are taking to make the most of that display space," the observer said.
"Albertson's has never been very competitive when it came to advertising, and now they've actually gotten into it, and on the grocery side it has been very effective in boosting the sales of the advertised brands," said another market source.
According to sources familiar with competition in Los Angeles, theme ads and contests are popular with other retailers here, and Albertson's is now keeping pace.
"It is just Albertson's way of trying to promote their image with their customers," said an industry observer. "Albertson's doesn't advertise the way a lot of their competitors do. While the other chains are advertising in the L.A. Times and the Orange County Register, Albertson's is choosing to advertise by in-store fliers, mailers, heavy radio, etc., and they are one of the few chains that
is growing and making a profit on a regular basis," the observer said.
One recent promotion, labeled a success by the observers, was Albertson's Founder's Day Celebration, which ran in late June. It is being followed by a Hawaiian Days theme promotion.
"This is the first time they have ever run a Founder's Day ad, and I think they got some of the idea from Smith's in Salt Lake City. Albertson's sale was for a two-week time frame and they had two different ads," one of the sources said. "Albertson's had some hot price points and they had some additional incremental sales as a result."