NORFOLK, Va. -- Some ballparks are using collectible sports figurines to drive fan attendance, and now some supermarket retailers are hoping the products will produce the same kind of excitement for them.
Farm Fresh here is one of handful of supermarket chains around the country gearing up to offer the Major League Baseball All-Star BobbleDobble Collection when it rolls out in two weeks.
"It seems to be a big sport with a big following, and [the continuity program] is a guaranteed sale," said a buyer at Farm Fresh. "We hope it will be successful."
The buyer said the 7-inch ceramic figurines, which feature wobbly heads painted in the likeness of professional baseball players, will be displayed on endcaps.
Other chains offering the collectibles include Acme Markets, Malvern, Pa.; Shop Rite, Carteret, N.J.; the Washington division of Safeway, Bellevue, Wash.; and the Texas division of Kroger, Houston, according to Michael Levine, president, Super Saver Sales, Marietta, Ga., the marketing company that put the program together.
The figures will be displayed in time for the All-Star Game on July 10. The BobbleDobbles carry a $7.99 promotional price tag during the program, which lasts four to six weeks.
Supermarkets will be the first retail channel to sell the items, according to Levine. "More children shopping with their parents in supermarkets during the summer should translate into a good promotion at retail," he said.
To help drive interest, Levine also said retailers have added players from their local teams that have been customized for them. He said Safeway has added four local players, while Kroger's has added two extra Houston Astros and two extra Texas Rangers to the standard 10 stockkeeping units. Shop Rite has added both New York Mets and New York Yankees to its lineup, said Levine.