Video screens the size of what one unnamed retailer is about to debut in Chicago are a long way from the pioneer of this medium: Checkout Channel. Customized TV programming from CNN was delivered to 13-inch monitors at the checkout lanes of supermarkets. Advertising was repeated every 10 minutes.
al mass of 3,000 stores was better spent on new investments in its core cable business.
Supermarket veterans remember other reasons: One, the audio was difficult to control (indeed, one executive said cashiers sometimes turned off the program because it was so annoying to listen to all day), and two, the end of the shopping pattern is the worst place to advertise products to buy.
"The opportunity to drive a truly incremental sale at that point is challenging. I'm done with my shopping," said Steve Michaelson, who until January was vice president of marketing at Wegmans Food Markets, Rochester, N.Y. He is now a principal of TM Branding, a new consultancy.
Checkout Channel in A&P supermarkets "didn't work," said Tony Gasparro, vice president of advertising for A&P's Atlantic region. "Consumers expect to be checked out. If they wanted to watch television, they would stay home."