In addition to Abco Foods, three other retailers are trying their hands at baby clubs as part of the American Greetings Research Council's test program.
ung parents with infants.
This club issues "Baby Bucks" against multiple purchases of combined baby items. Eligible items are identified with Raley's baby club point-of-purchase materials. Baby bucks can be redeemed for gift certificate.
According to a report issued by the research council, Raley's will test its baby club in three stores for a six-month period.
Price Chopper Supermarkets, Schenectady, N.Y.: Price Chopper has chosen to conduct its baby club experiment with the direct help of manufacturers.
A four-month program, in conjunction with Beechnut Foods, is being run out of 12 stores in upstate New York. A mailing, including a letter from Price Chopper and coupons for baby food, private-label diapers and film developing at Price Chopper, is targeting parents of infants in the market areas surrounding those stores.
To determine the effect of the direct mail campaign, the chain will measure sales increases in coupon items as well as within the larger baby category itself.
Dick's Supermarkets, Platteville, Wis.: Representing a small operator's efforts in baby clubs is Brodbeck Enterprises' Dick's Supermarkets, which also is conducting a direct-mail campaign targeting newborns and their parents.
The research council reported that the seven-store outfit mailed a gift certificate for free merchandise and a reminder that Dick's offers both food and nonfood baby items. And after a year the company will mail a follow-up postcard offering the family a 20% discount on the child's first birthday cake.
"Categories selected as a destination must be meaningful to the consumer and include items that are naturally complementary and coherent so purchases can be linked," said the council's report.
The destination category "should be one where consumer involvement and dollar expenditure are high."
The council also concluded that "continuity incentives help increase store loyalty and turn club items into habitual purchases, and manufacturer and retailer cooperation is crucial."
Measured results of the various test baby club programs will be publicized at the Food Marketing Institute's annual convention in May 1995.