BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. -- Ingles Markets, based here, was recently honored with the 1996 Retailer of the Year award by McNeil Consumer Products, Fort Washington, Pa., the manufacturers of Tylenol.
Ingles was selected for its achievements in selling, marketing, merchandising, pricing and advertising of the adult Tylenol brands.
Tony Federico, vice president of nonfood at Ingles Markets, was recognized for leading Ingles' innovative efforts from corporate-level to individual store participation.
The 193-store chain was honored for the introduction of the marketing initiative called the "Flu Alert Special," Federico said. "We got together with McNeil in September 1996 and we put a program together that was based on timeliness, advertising, merchandising and key pricing."
Ingles bought 750 Tylenol displays, which were delivered after Christmas, before the flu season hit. (In North Carolina, the flu season historically begins in late January, Federico said.)
Ingles' advertising company turned around a Tylenol flu ad in seven days, and it ran Jan. 19 in the food chain's 2-million-circulation flier. "We waited till the most opportune time when the 'flu alert' hit its peak," Federico said. "We were able to have a lot of product out in the stores, with a sensational ad and key pricing at the key time when the flu was at its maximum." The key pricing included a 10-count Tylenol Flu gelcap or 10-count Tylenol Flu Nighttime product retailing for $1.99 each.
As a result of the promotion, Ingles' Tylenol sales were more than double the market average in January, February and March, Federico said, based on figures from Information Resources Inc., Chicago.
"We are very proud of Ingles and Tony Federico for showing huge growth year after year of Tylenol, as well as all of McNeil's products," said Scott Schulman, account manager at McNeil Consumer Products. "Ingles is proud to be the recipient of this first-time award from McNeil," said Federico. "It is extremely gratifying to work with such a fine company and to see our sales and profits rise."