NORRISTOWN, Pa. -- Buying something off the back of a truck has taken on a whole new meaning at Genuardi's Family Markets here.
In its new Langhorne, Pa., store, Genuardi's is using a hand-painted mural showing the rear of a tractor trailer as the backdrop for a display showcasing unadvertised "truckload sale" Center Store items.
The idea for the display was created by Dave Weidner, director of grocery operations, as a better way to use the biggest endcap in the store, which happens to be next to the warehouse-pack aisle. To create a truckload sale image, 30-inch by 10-foot banners proclaiming "Truckload Savings" and showing a tire mark are suspended from the ceiling in the warehouse-pack aisle.
"From time to time, for two to three weeks at a time, we will advertise a truckload sale. It won't necessarily be something that is in our weekly ad, but rather something that our buyers are able to latch on to as far as some kind of a deal," Weidner told SN.
"We will run some product at a hot price and try to make it look like it just came off of a Genuardi truck,"' Weidner said, adding that Genuardi's displays the merchandise on a specially constructed pallet made at a lumber mill.
If Genuardi's offered a deal on Campbell's Soup, for example, the chain might place several pallets on the display and feature them there, instead of running the item in its weekly circular.
The first item on the display was Genuardi's private-label soda.
"If you pull the soda away it looks like a rollup door on a trailer. It is all black, like if you were looking into the trailer. You can see the Genuardi name on the side of the truck, and it looks like the truck is jacked into the loading area," Weidner explained.
"The soda retailed for 99 cents a six-pack. It was a deal our beverage category manager developed," he said, adding that the display generated positive sales results.
"Our soda was up against some pretty strong competition. Opening week we had 69 cents on a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi. When you are up against grand opening ads, sometimes even though you have a good price you still get blown away with the sale items," he said.
The Langhorne store is the first to use the Truckload Savings display concept. Weidner said that based upon preliminary results he hopes to expand the concept to other new stores as they are constructed.
"Going back and retrofitting some of our older stores is going to be more difficult. We have to have the space," he said.