MINNEAPOLIS -- Assistance in designing, launching and maintaining retailer Web sites provided by Supervalu here and a third-party marketing firm has helped 300 retailers serviced by the wholesaler to establish an Internet presence in the past year.
The sites keep customers up to date on many services including new offerings in the deli and bakery, job openings and "Internet-only specials" available at a particular store. Some retailers even use their sites as a medium to offer on-line coupons.
The Internet's growing role as an alternative media source was the main impetus behind Supervalu's desire to help its retailers establish a Web presence, according to Bob Spelts, director of advertising, sales and promotion for Supervalu.
"We wanted to get consumer interest in a new and unique way," said Spelts, and Supervalu also wanted to offer a service that "retailers wanted and needed."
The design and maintenance of retailers' sites is done by Hometown Marketing here. Some retailers choose a basic predesigned site, while others prefer a customized look, according to a source familiar with the situation. All the sites share some common information, such as recipes, the source added.
Retailers' costs for establishing a Web site range from less than $1,000 for a standard predesigned site to approximately $2,000 for a site offering customized data, Spelts told SN. Monthly maintenance costs range from $50 to $75, according to the source.