Carteret, N.J. -- Pathmark here is staging its 10th annual Multicultural Arts Festival, beginning May 15th, to celebrate the cultural heritages of African American, Hispanic, Asian and Jewish customers.
All the stores in the Pathmark chain will participate with store-level promotions of grocery products, such as coupons or special offers tied to the festivities, according to Paul McGlothin, president, Arts for Business, Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., the organization that produces the Festival.
For example, Turkey Hill ice cream will provide consumers with free T-shirts at the Festival if they bring proof-of-purchase of the ice cream and a register receipt that shows they bought at least $50-worth of groceries at Pathmark. In addition, grocery manufacturers who are either participating in the festival or helping to sponsor it will offer coupons and samples on site.
"Caribbean Food Delights previously did sampling at the Festival and saw as much as a 100% increase in sales at Pathmark during the Festival period," McGlothin said. "Food companies that integrate promotions with the Festival see phenomenal results."
Nonetheless, the event is mainly used to get across the message that Pathmark is part of the community, McGlothin said. "Pathmark banners hang in downtown streets and on major thoroughfares. There are signs at site locations, as well as on the New Jersey Turnpike, on Metro North bulletin boards, and so forth," he said.
"We advertise it in our stores as a social opportunity for our customers," said Rich Savner, spokesman for the chain. "The first year we started we had one location and 2,000 or 3,000 visitors. In 1999, we have seven locations and expect upward of 250,000 visitors," he said.
"You can't underestimate the goodwill created with an event like this. Customers realize that Pathmark is more than four walls. We want to reach out to the community and go beyond what is visible," he continued.
This year events will be held at locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and in four New Jersey towns: Perth Amboy, Paterson, Newark and Jersey City. The first festival weekend in May 15-16, and the last event will be held July 10-11.
Events will include performances by ethnic dancers and musicians, some of them well-known in their respective communities. Some of the co-sponsors of the festival include America Online, Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Ford, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg's K-Sentials, Mobil Speedpass, Pepsi-Cola, Proctor & Gamble, State Farm Insurance, Summit Bank and Turkey Hill Dairy.