MINNEAPOLIS -- At Lunds here, sampling from the deli department kicks into high gear over the Friday and Saturday peak weekend shopping periods, according to Laurie Kelly, deli merchandiser.
re selected to tie into an in-store promotion, which typically plays off the seasonality of the product or if it is a new item. These sampling efforts are supported by vendors, Kelly added.
"A lot of samples are handled over the counter in addition to the selling floor sampling," said Kelly. "We have a calendar of products to be sampled out of the case and we promote individual sampling used in suggestive selling. For example, if a customer buys a chicken breast, our associate may suggest a side of angel hair pasta and offer a sample.
"Sampling has a definite impact on sales," Kelly said. Another effect Lunds makes with sampling is the dissemination of product information, in the form of a recipe or serving suggestion along with the item being sampled.
"We like to promote how to use the product in writing," Kelly said. "It makes a lot of difference, whether information is written or verbal.
"We also cross-merchandise within the deli department and throughout the store," Kelly said. "We try to do more things than just meat on a toothpick."
For example, she said, Lunds occasionally samples ruben sandwiches. The corned beef and cheese are deli items, the pumpernickel bread is from the operator's bakery, the sauerkraut is from the meat department and the sandwich dressing is from the center of the store.