HOUSTON -- A Kroger unit picked up the best retailer award in the chain category for its displays and promotional activities during 1998's National Rice Month Display Contest, sponsored by the USA Rice Federation here.
Jeanette Cockrell, store manager at Kroger 584, in Stuttgart, Ark., and Denis FitzGibbon, store owner/manager of the Fair Avenue IGA in Hamilton, Ohio, each received a grand prize of $1,000. FitzGibbon won in the independent category. Prizes were awarded by the USARF for overall efforts in promoting rice throughout the month of September.
Cockrell used a variety of activities, including in-store displays, sampling and demoes, contests, giveaways and couponing, and saw a 300% increase in rice sales from the previous month.
"I had a cook come in on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for the entire month and make rice dishes for customers to sample," said Cockrell.
Cockrell told SN that a 12-foot display, which merchandised rice products on sale, was placed at the front of the store as part of the month-long promotion. Recipe pamphlets were also given out to customers.
FitzGibbon, who also won the award in 1996, also used front-end merchandising, along with signage, recipe handouts, in-store demonstrations, bag stuffers, circulars, and additional displays in the produce and deli sections. Sales were up in his store 250% from the previous month, he said.