JERICHO, N.Y. -- Shoppers at a new Waldbaum's supermarket in this Long Island suburb are getting a taste of Italy with a branded Italian destination department containing more than 300 imported olives, sauces, condiments and other groceries.
Located at the end of the produce aisle, adjacent to bakery, the 36-foot section contains premium DeLallo-brand packaged goods from George E. DeLallo Co., Jeannette, Pa. Most selections are imported from Italy.
The Jericho unit is the newest addition to Waldbaum's, which operates nearly 80 stores on Long Island and in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. Officials from A&P, Montvale, N.J., Waldbaum's parent, declined to comment.
While other Waldbaum's units have in-aisle DeLallo sections, only this store and another on Staten Island feature DeLallo destination departments, according to Robert Lubic, DeLallo's vice president, sales and marketing.
The section is anchored by two perpendicular rows of black Metro shelves containing dedicated category sections, including olive oil, vinegar and tomatoes.
Besides the gondolas are four floor displays, one of which is merchandised on a replica of a wooden fruit cart with a market umbrella. Each display is themed with related grocery categories. One, for instance, contains polenta and pasta; another, wafer rolls, biscotti and candy.
Designed to replicate an Italian marketplace, the section stands out in the store due to its attractive decor. Shelving is adorned with Italian flags, wooden baskets, faux ivy, and signs emblazoned with the names of Italian cities. There's even piped Italian music.
"The decor definitely creates eye appeal and slows the customer down," Lubic said.
Having a destination department lets Waldbaum's create a niche for itself and develop new cross-merchandising opportunities and, as a result, capture incremental sales, according to Lubic.
"Retailers can merchandise our olive oil with crusty breads in bakery, or our roasted peppers in deli," Lubic said.
Products range in price from about 99 cents for dry pasta to $12.99 for cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. When SN visited the store about one week ago, there were nearly one dozen specials -- ranging from a 49-cent to $5.99 savings. A 16.9-ounce jar of extra virgin olive oil was on sale for $4.99, down from $7.99; potato gnocchi, 16 ounces, $2.50, from $2.99; and grated cheese, 8 ounces, $2.99, from $4.99.
An SN reporter found one buy-one, get-one-free offer. Customers who purchased a 25.4-ounce jar of DeLallo imported pasta sauce for $5.99 could get a second jar free. Along with its vast product selection and distinctive decor, the marketplace is unique in that it serves as the backdrop for sampling and demonstrations. DeLallo representatives set up sampling stations during peak periods and prepared some of the products in recipes. Certain items are also tied in with products carried in other areas of the supermarket.
"We interact with bakery, produce and deli to create excitement throughout the store," Lubic said.
The demos also educate Waldbaum's customers on the uniqueness of DeLallo products, like how the sauce contains San Marzano tomatoes, and why the pasta is cut from die made of bronze, rather than Teflon. The former gives the pasta a rougher surface that helps sauces cling easier.
"All our products have a point of difference," Lubic said.
DeLallo supplies retailers with various branded perishables, including olive and pasta bars, cheeses and Italian meats. The Waldbaum's unit here carries several of these, including the olive and pasta bar, in its perishables department.
"The Italian category is so broad that you can get the whole store involved," Lubic stated.
Who Is DeLallo?
In the mid-1940s, George E. DeLallo began to sell grocery items door to door. In 1954, he and his wife Madeleine purchased property on Route 30 in Jeannette, Pa., and established a retail and wholesale Italian grocery store, DeLallo's Italian Marketplace. Here, they began to develop and sell authentic Italian items bearing the DeLallo name. Today, the company boasts national distribution of a range of perishables and dry groceries, including olive oil, pasta, vinegar and glass-packed peppers.
Despite its growth, the company has preserved its roots. The original DeLallo's Italian Marketplace in Jeannette remains the corporate showcase store.