MONTVALE, N.J. -- A&P has found its reading centers, set up in an alcove off the main traffic artery in stores,"has had a positive impact on sales," said Andrew Carrano, A&P's vice president of marketing and corporate affairs.
He declined to provide figures.
As the reading rooms have been developed, "there has been a greater emphasis on children," he said. The room has been equipped with children's reading material and activity books, tables and chairs.
A&P now has 10 reading centers, following their introduction at an A&P in Midland Park, N.J., in 1997. Stores in the chain without a reading room devote about 16 to 20 feet of in-line space to children's books.
A&P has enhanced its reading centers with children in mind, using an ambience that encourages the younger set to browse. The chain's 22 by 15 feet of carpeted space offers an expanded mix of children's coloring and activity books and learning materials in a relaxed setting.
Carrano said the reading room gives "children an opportunity to actually sit and review the titles while their parents are shopping, or the parents [can] do that with them."
Wooden fixtures with canopy lighting set off the children's books, which are displayed in about 40 feet of space on slant-back wall fixtures. Globes, and stuffed animals at $9.99 to $12.99, are arranged above the fixtures.
Two back-to-back wooden island fixtures with magazines, hardcover and paperback books are positioned in the center of the department; front and rear endcaps hold more titles.
At the Super Fresh Market that opened in March in Cherry Hill, N.J., an easel sign welcomes customers to the "Super Fresh Reading Room."
The section is adjacent to the pharmacy department and opposite a children's aisle offering toys, games, apparel and licensed products.
Reading Rooms are designated for new A&P, Super Fresh and Super Food Marts, Carrano said.
Albertson's, Boise, Idaho, also has set up 16-foot reading centers in its 160-linear-foot magazine sections.