CLEVELAND -- Free candy and floral discounts were among the Mother's Day programs American Greetings here ran to boost department traffic in supermarkets.
"We're encouraging customers to buy Mother's Day cards, with the hope that once they get in the card department, they'll remember a birthday or another special occasion," said Sara Eames, marketing and public relations coordinator at American Greetings. "Studies have shown that about 80% of people who get to the greeting card aisle make a purchase. This is a way to get them to that aisle." At Big Bear, Columbus, Ohio, a division of Penn Traffic Co., Syracuse, N.Y., customers who purchased any three Forget Me Not cards were given $1 off a Mother's Day corsage.
"See our floral display for the single-bloom Orchid corsage," point-of-purchase material read. A Big Bear official who worked on the project declined to comment. At Albertson's, Boise, Idaho, customers who bought four Forget Me Not cards were offered a free 1-pound box of chocolates.
"The goal is to add value to a customer's greeting card purchase, and to drive traffic to and from other departments," said Elizabeth Ruttenberg, sales promotion specialist at American Greetings. Albertson's officials were unavailable for comment.
Albertson's runs at least 12 of these types of promotions with American Greetings every year. Under a similar campaign that ran in 1995, customers who purchased any four American Greetings cards received a free Rubbermaid greeting card organizer. The company also has cross-promoted with products such as plush gift items and picture frames.
"Albertson's is one of our most consistent customers. It has a full calendar of events," said Ruttenberg. "Their customers always know they will get value with their purchase throughout the year." Both promotions ran from May 5 through Mother's Day.