TAMPA, Fla. — Sweetbay Supermarkets recently rolled out new icons to call attention to its everyday low price positioning. “Sweet Deals” labels indicate the chain’s EDLP items, which typically hold prices at the same levels from 10 to 17 weeks; “Sweet Sale” labels indicate a limited-time sale. “It’s a new, very aggressive campaign we’re using to communicate our price message,” Nicole LeBeau, a spokeswoman for Sweetbay, which is owned by Brussels-based Delhaize Group, told SN. The move comes as rival Publix Super Markets also unveils a new pricing initiative called “Essentials,” in which the Lakeland, Fla.-based chain has lowered the everyday prices for certain fast-moving items. The competitive market in Florida began heating up earlier this spring when shoppers became acutely aware of a slowing economy and retailers struggled to meet year-ago sales comparisons, Peter Lynch, chief executive officer of Winn-Dixie, based in Jacksonville, Fla., said in a recent conference call. Winn-Dixie admittedly “over-invested” in promotions to maintain sales momentum, Lynch said. In a research note Friday, Karen Short, an analyst at Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co., New York, said she believes that if Publix becomes more aggressive in its promotions, it could further impact Winn-Dixie.
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