SUNBURY, Pa. -- Weis Markets here is using general merchandise continuities to build higher traffic and customer loyalty at the 153-store chain.
The continuities are aimed, in part, at offsetting the competitive pull from retailers like Wal-Mart, Bentonville, Ark., who are expanding into various Weis trading areas, said company spokesman Dennis Curtin.
The level of competition is "building across the board -- from Wegman's opening more stores in northeastern Pennsylvania and Wal-Mart rolling out more supercenters, to the aggressive remodeling and new store openings of Giant Food Stores of Carlisle, Pa.," said Curtin.
Weis, in fact, re-entered the world of continuities last fall -- after being out of this marketing mode for several years -- with a Pyrex promotion "that was very successful," said Curtin.
While the move back into continuities offers shoppers an additional reason to come to Weis, Curtin said "it's also another way to deal with an increasingly competitive marketplace from retailers expanding in or moving to our areas," he said.
On Feb. 16 Weis rolled out another continuity chainwide, a 10-week Corningware promotion, highlighted by the chain's new marketing twist for such traffic-building promotions.
Each week the featured continuity is priced $3 lower to Weis Club customers. While food chains usually price a weekly featured continuity item lower with a minimum purchase amount, Weis introduced this new club-card spin with the Pyrex promotion launch.
According to Curtin, linking lower continuity prices with the club card builds loyalty among preferred shoppers, "and is an additional reason for using the card."
Although Weis has had a shoppers' club card for a few years in its State College, Pa., stores, during the last year it was expanded to more than two-thirds of its stores.