LAUREL, Md. -- The Retail Bakers of America here is calling on supermarket bakery and deli executives to send in information about their most unusual, successful, and even wacky cross-merchandising ideas that have helped sell more products and create excitement in the store.
Exceptional ideas will be featured at the trade group's annual convention in a special session called, "Crazy, Crackpot Cross-Merchandising."
The convention, Marketplace '95, which runs concurrently with the trade group's exhibition for the first time, is set for March 11-13 in San Francisco.
Retailers and suppliers should send information about the best cross-merchandising programs for deli and bakery items they have ever run to: RBA's Merchandising Believe It or Not, RBA, 14239 Park Center Drive, Laurel, Md. 20707. For further information, call 1-800-638-0924.
Peter Houstle, executive vice president of the trade group, said contestants can enter photos, an ad that retailers ran in conjunction with the promotion or just a letter describing the successful event. The more information provided about the program, the better, he said, adding that the information provided doesn't have to be "anything fancy."
The strongest ideas will also be showcased at the exhibition in a display called "RBA's Merchandising Believe it or Not." On the show floor, attendees will be asked to vote on their favorite program.
"This is not an awards program," Houstle noted. There are no prizes, just a nod of industry approval for well-executed merchandising strategies, Houstle said.
"In essence, what we're trying to create is an opportunity for somebody to say, 'Hey, I've done something neat,' " Houstle said.
This year, RBA has chosen not to continue its Leading Edge Awards program for bakery and deli departments. Run for the last two years, the program had been featured in SN as part of special convention coverage.
Marketplace '95's cross-merchandising display and seminar is not a replacement for those awards, Houstle said, but rather a way to recognize the best in supermarket deli and bakery marketing.