CITRUS HEIGHTS, Calif. -- Food Source Warehouse Concepts here is boosting the sales and income from new products by showcasing them in the front of the store.
For the last six months, Food Source -- a division of West Sacramento, Calif.-based Raley's operating four warehouse stores in Northern California -- has been placing its new Center Store items in a "New Item Kiosk." The movable glass showcase is placed either at the front of the store or at the beginning of the grocery department.
Products that have been featured on the New Item Kiosk in recent months include Frito-Lay's Wow! olestra-based snacks, Nabisco Air Crisp crackers, Farley's Mega Monster fruit roll-ups, Ragu cheese-based pasta sauces, Zatarain's crab boil, Honey-Frosted Wheaties, Pedigree dry dog food, Clean Shower and Electrasol Tabs dishwasher detergent.
Aisle marker signs are displayed in front of each item in the showcase, so that shoppers can easily find them in the store. The display is capped with a large poster of a delivery stork holding a shopping bag that reads, "Food Source New Arrivals." Shelf talkers, called "Stork Wags," mark the items in the aisle.
"Everyone puts new items in all the time, but they are not usually publicized," said Dino Donati, merchandising/marketing assistant at Food Source.
Items are rotated once every month or two, depending on the schedule of freestanding inserts that highlight new items. The kiosk is maintained by the store manager and customer service desk.
Donati said that the New Item Kiosk has been well received by customers. During its last six months of operation, the kiosk has led to a noticeable increase in the sale of new items.
"That has encouraged a lot of vendors to purchase extra space for [their new items]. They give us incremental money to have their items displayed for a month or so," Donati said. "We are charging extra per item in [the kiosk] aside from our normal slotting."
Food Source plans to further capitalize on the New Item Kiosk by including it in its newspaper and circular advertisements.
"We plan on taking the logo of the stork new arrivals and placing it next to the new items that are featured in our ad," Donati said. He expects that tying the ad and kiosk together with the logo will further increase sales on new items.