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How Food Lion Markets Its Green Store

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Give consumers some credit — they know a lot about sustainability, and they like to know when they’re shopping a store that’s doing it’s part to make the world just a little bit greener.

foodlion.gifIt’s the retailer’s job to fill them in, of course. And that’s no easy task. How do you explain the new refrigeration systems in marketing language? What about that energy-saving doohickey that heats the front doors? Do you tell them about that?

Supermarkets have been shy about talking directly to their shoppers about sustainable design. Many just put out a press release and let us do the rest. But then there are those like Food Lion that really step up. The Salisbury, North Carolina-based retailer made headlines this week by opening its first “green" store in South Carolina — but for months, ever since it broke ground on the site in July, the company has been providing construction updates and education on its website.

Click over to their dedicated page, and you’ll find an interactive menu with tips, pictures, a video, and even a quiz aimed at promoting the new store. Take the quiz to discover that the store uses 20% less energy than a typical supermarket, has LED lights in its refrigeration units, uses low-flow water systems that conserve more than 140,000 gallons of water a year, and more. Didn’t score 100%? You should be ashamed of yourself.

It’s important that retailers don’t just wait for shoppers to come to them. Marketing on the company homepage is great, but honestly, very few people casually visit their local supermarket’s website to learn about the latest initiative. Reach them through social media, put up signs in the store. Better still, give them a reason to visit your website by offering coupons, posting blogs and interesting (not just self-serving) videos.

The online possibilities are endless. But going into that is another post entirely.

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