COPPELL, Texas -- Minyard Food Stores here is celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a four-week fiesta that culminates in refrigerator and grocery giveaways.
The Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the defeat of the French at Puebla on May 5, 1862, symbolizes the end of European domination of Mexico. Retailers in areas with high Mexican American demographics often run special promotions themed around the holiday.
According to Debbie Ellis, vice president of public affairs, for Minyard, the chain is running a holiday promotion in its nineteen Carnival Food stores. The promotion ends May 8th.
"We create our own promotional Cinco de Mayo sweepstakes with prizes in each store," said Ellis. "We specifically design a promotion for the holiday at Carnival. It seems to work every year with the consumers."
This year a Whirlpool refrigerator filled with groceries has been set up on the front-end of the store, in a prize registration area so "people can see and touch what they are registering for," Ellis said. There will be one winner in each store, and the prize will come with a $100 grocery-shopping spree to fill the new fridge.
Carnival stores are decorated during the four weeks the promotion is running, Ellis said. Holiday festivities also include participation of a local Hispanic radio station. The station has been invited to selected stores to help throw a party in the parking lot, where hot grocery items, free Coca-Cola and prizes are given out.
Like Minyard, United Supermarkets, in Lubbock, Texas, is sponsoring a variety of parking lot parties and prize giveaways for consumers. In addition to these outdoor activities, United has a number of Center Store promotions running.
"This year in particular [we have] a lot of promotions. We'll have decorated end cap displays with items like flour, tortillas, sauces, salsas, seasonings and mixes," said Rene Underwood, director of marketing.
"A lot of grocery items are on sale,"she said. Other items include shortening, taco shells and refried beans.
According to Underwood, one or more holiday displays are set up in each of the 39 stores in the chain. "Most of our stores have a 25% Hispanic customer base, but it can be up to 70% in some areas," said Underwood. "The larger Hispanic markets have more displays."
United has also made available two recipe cards that list ingredients corresponding with items on display. Circulars are also promoting the holiday, with ads that feature grocery items for Tex-Mex cuisine.
Other retailers are also celebrating Cinco de Mayo. Centro Mart in Stockton, Calif., a group member of the Los Angeles-based Certified Grocers of California, advertised numerous grocery items on special and coordinated them with in-store displays for the holiday. Terry O'Neill, a spokesman for Ralph's Grocery Company, Compton, Calif., told SN that the chain "typically does quite extensive promotions, mostly in the liquor area."