ROCKVILLE, Md. -- Specialty retailer Sutton Place Gourmet here is borrowing supermarket tactics for a new aggressive marketing plan.
The company, a gourmet-oriented chain that emphasizes fresh food and is often cited as a leader in prepared foods presentation, has staged its first-ever food sale, and is incorporating theme merchandising as well.
The sale was launched with an ad in the Washington Post that filled a third of a page. That was the beginning of a new push, which will include more print and radio advertising, said Katherine Newell Smith, vice president for the 14-unit retailer.
Among the advertised freshly prepared foods offered at a special price were wild mushroom lasagna for $9.99 a pound, marked down from $10.99; and roasted portabella mushrooms for $8.99 a pound, marked down from $9.99.
"This was our first annual sale, and we called it a fancy food show. We're doing it for the same reasons other companies have sales; to introduce consumers to our stores and to our products," said Smith.
Under way currently is a Mardi Gras theme celebration, Smith said. It is featuring Cajun specialties and associates dressed in Mardi Gras costumes.
"We've had a Mardi Gras celebration in previous years, but this one will be longer, from the first of February right up through Fat Tuesday," she said. The company also has plans for a Celebration of Spring event, she added.