JACKSON, Miss. -- Jitney Jungle is planning on getting into home-office products in greater depth, said Al Booth, director of general merchandise, HBC and video.
"We'll start out with a 40-foot section in expanded basic items to test the waters at stores in the larger [marketing] areas of Memphis and Little Rock, and at some stores here."
According to Booth, shoppers are "starting to look to the supermarket for home and office products, especially if they're running a small business and personal computer at home.
"While there's some degree of a planned purchase in the category, it's also impulse, particularly when you talk about discs, paper products, envelopes and things of that nature."
Jitney Jungle also offers shoppers at some stores a computer software program on a test basis. The software is priced from $3.95 to $4.95.
"The software is supplied through our news agencies. We'll look at sales at the end of the year to see if we want to expand the concept to any of our other stores," said Booth.
"The consumer gets to try the software, and if they wish to keep the software and use it on an ongoing basis, they would then pay $15 to $20."
Booth added that this approach lets consumers decide "if they want to own the software before they pay for it. Software is something shoppers sometimes will purchase, but they then find it doesn't meet their expectations.
"This is a trial-before-you-buy-it kind of scenario. It's a minimal investment, rather than going out and spending $80 to $90 for a program that may not do what you were looking for."
The software is all IBM-compatible and would normally sell in the $50 to $100 range, said Booth. "There are some business-type applications in the software in addition to games, including word processing programs, spreadsheets and mailing list generators."