WHITEFISH, Mont. -- Food Depot here ran a two-week long promotion recently that boosted its canned goods sales.
URM Stores Inc., Spokane, Wash, in conjunction with the Food Depot location, ran the sale, during which time the store sold more cases than it did last year, said Don Corne, store manager.
This year, the program was developed differently. In the past, all Food Depot stores ran the promotion simultaneously. However, the four other Food Depot outlets did not participate because they are supplied by a different wholesaler, Associated Grocers, Seattle.
Although the stores are owned by Brown & Cole Stores, Bellingham, Wash., the parent company did not take part in the program. Rather, the lone Food Depot relied on its warehouse and wholesaler, URM, to negotiate deals with manufacturers. URM refused to comment.
"Plus the store enhanced the program by negotiating with additional vendors on its own," Corne added. "We try to negotiate the best deals for full-case product. Sometimes we have to sell at a loss," he said.
In-store signs, pennants, banners, store circulars and newspaper ads raised awareness about the sale.
"I believe it attracts customers who normally shop other stores," Corne said.
Individual cans were priced more cheaply than normal, but the shopper who purchased in bulk experienced higher savings, sometimes as much as 10% off the single price, Corne added.
"It is something that our customers like very much," he said.
The most popular items were canned vegetables, such as those by Western Family, which sold for 29 cents each, or a 12-pack for $3.48., and those from Del Monte, which sold for 59 cents a piece, or $12.99 per a case of 24.
Other popular items included soups, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili and canned fruit. Canned goods were not the only products sold as part of the bulk sales program; frozen pizza, frozen juice, shelf-stable juice, frozen vegetables and bottled water rounded out the promotion.
Del Monte, Western Family, Campbell's, Nalley's, Snows, Bumble Bee, Chef Boyardee, Castleberry's, Progresso, Ocean Spray, Hormel, Armour, Jonah, Franco American, Jeno's, Maruchan and Smack cooperated in the event.