BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Supermarket companies dominated a list of winners for a display contest held for the animated movie "Anastasia," according to executives with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment here.
Five of the seven prize winners were with supermarket-based companies. Four of those five were with home electronics departments of Fred Meyer Stores, a subsidiary of Fred Meyer Inc., Portland, Ore., but the grand-prize winner of a trip for two to Paris was Rose Kilby, lead video clerk for Kroger store 554 in Smyrna, Tenn.
A Kroger spokesman at the chain's Cincinnati headquarters did not return a call for comment.
"We are very pleased to have four individuals as winners in this national contest," said Rob Boley, spokesman for Fred Meyer. "We have great people who are very creative. They epitomize all the employees who have done so much to make our video sales program in the home electronics departments of our stores so successful."
Although the title streeted April 28, the contest results were made public in late summer.
"We got a very good response from supermarkets, but the contest was open to drug stores, supermarkets and video specialty," said Don Jeffries, Fox's vice president of sales and distribution. He said there were "hundreds of entrants" from all classes of trade, about 100 of which were from supermarket companies.
Second prize, a trip for two to Las Vegas, plus $500 spending money, went to Aleesa Thomas, music market supervisor at Fred Meyer's Gateway store in Portland. Five third-prize winners received $100; three of them were with Fred Meyer: Jennifer Lynn Combs, home electronics manager in Veradal, Wash.; Eileen E. Ward, a manager at the store on SE 82nd Avenue in Portland; and Lesa Arnold, music market manager at the store on Aurora Avenue in Seattle.
The other two third-prize winners were with Suncoast Motion Picture Co., Minneapolis, and Blockbuster Video, Dallas.
The contest ran from April 28 to May 25 and judging was based 25% on display organization and 75% on originality and creativity. Judging was done by an independent organization.
The grand-prize-winning display was located in a high-traffic area in the front of the Kroger store, near where customers pick up carts and visible to people waiting on the checkout lines, said Jeffries. "We have seen that a display can give us anywhere from a three- to seven-times increase in sales vs. just putting it in the normal department. That's pretty consistent across all classes of trade, and it certainly works in grocery, where you have incredible foot traffic."
Among the different classes of trade, supermarkets tend to have the space to put up special displays, he noted. "If you look at some of the displays that supermarkets did vs. the ones in Blockbuster or Suncoast stores, for example, the supermarkets had bigger, grander displays. Many of them took it into the main part of the store, as the grand-prize-winning Kroger did. That really helped them to impress the judges."
Support by store management is the key to success in video, he said. "It's no coincidence that the stores that are very successful in video are the ones that have overall store managers who get behind the releases. They also tend to have bigger, grander video departments because the managers see what video can do for their stores."