LAS VEGAS — Bashas' is driving incremental sales since adopting best practices to promote more effectively, a chain executive told a workshop audience here this month at the annual National Grocers Association convention.
Bryson Waterman, director of marketing research and category management for the Chandler, Ariz.-based chain, said the company is doing a better job since changing its promotion strategy.
In the paper category, for example, Bashas' was losing sales to Wal-Mart, Costco and Target, “but by adjusting our pricing over time, we're seeing gradual sales improvements on a year-over-year basis and generating more sales at regular retails than we had in the past.”
By studying weekly sales trends in the paper category, he explained, Bashas' noticed that sales of branded items were greater in the first two weeks of a period, whereas private-brand paper goods experienced a greater lift in the last week of the period.
“So we've shifted our ad planning for a ‘push’ rather than a ‘pull.’ It's been an evolutionary process for us, and we're still learning.”
Bashas' implemented the changes working with Willard Bishop LLC, Barrington, Ill., Waterman noted.
Speaking at the workshop, Craig Rosenblum, a partner in the Willard Bishop firm, said many retailers “often over-inundate shoppers with price ads, but promotions do not necessarily equal success.
“Promotional strategies need updating to deal with today's more competitive environment, where the goal is to drive incremental sales through shopper perceptions while minimizing unprofitable investments in promotional offerings.
“Retailers need to be proactive with promotions to drive incremental sales. They need to strengthen their price image and shopper perceptions by very precisely blending regular shelf prices and promotions to profitably compete with and beat the competition.”
According to Rosenblum, retailers often focus on promoting items people would have bought anyway rather than focusing on increasing volume by studying movement category by category. “Retailers should pick ad items based on their incremental sales potential, shopper appeal and consumer purchase behavior,” he said.