BOSTON -- Stop & Shop here sought a holiday bonus with a full-page, two-color ad promoting Easter candy in its circular for the week preceding the holiday.
"Make Us Your Easter Candy Headquarters" was the headline of the ad, which featured prices on 35 candy items, as well as nuts and an assortment of other seasonal offerings, such as egg coloring kits, baskets and toys.
The top quarter of the ad featured 99-cent Easter specials on items such as Palmer Chocolate Easter Figures, Brach's Jelly Bird Eggs and Cadbury chocolate bars.
The next portion of the ad encouraged multiple purchases, with prices such as Whoppers malted milk chocolate balls at two for $3 and Hershey's Pastel Miniatures at two for $5. The next section down, broken into three portions, primarily promoted boxed candy at higher price points, along with the egg coloring kits, crayons and miscellaneous toys.
A spokeswoman at Stop & Shop declined to comment on the ad. A local industry observer said a Stop & Shop official told him midway through the week-long promotion that sell-through on some of the items advertised was almost 70%.
"That put him right on target," the Boston-area source said, adding that a final determination of the ad's success wouldn't be available until sales reports were generated. "Close to 40% of their Easter sales are done the last week," he pointed out.
The source predicted a positive report overall. "They're No. 1 in the market," he said. "They do close to 20% of the business up here. It's closer to 40% on some of these candy lines and food. They're big.
The source said Stop & Shop probably led the market in terms of Easter candy promotion.
"You won't find another block from anybody, i.e., Shaw's or Demoulas, or even Hannaford from Maine, that comes close to this ad -- plus the displays. "They had an Easter seasonal display that I think was about a 20-foot set. That's big compared to the competitors here," he said.