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Supermarkets Set to Fulfill Holiday Wish Lists

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Luxury department store Nieman Marcus and discounter Target have forged an interesting alliance this holiday season — one that involves selling the same gifts in both stores.

Priced from $7.99 to $499.99 the collection includes 50 limited-edition designer takes on everyday items like an Oscar de la Renta doggie dish and Tori Burch thermos and lunchbox.

It’s obvious that Target has a lot to gain — much of its success has come from democratizing high-end fashion. But the luxury chain stands to benefit too — by transforming its chi-chi stores into approachable shopping destinations.

The strategy is not so radical considering the range of channels vying for share of the practical shopper this year. NPD Group’s holiday report notes that while consumers plan to spend the same amount or more than last year, purchases will be more pragmatic than frivolous. With fewer budget constraints, 2012 shoppers don’t have to chase sales on picked-over inventories at over-crowded malls. Rather, they’ll put a premium on selection and convenience. Poised to draw incremental sales is one of the most frequently shopped retail channels: the supermarket.

Fruitcakes and chocolates may have been the extent of giftable options during holidays past, but today’s grocers offer a range of products I wouldn’t mind finding under the tree.

Categories set to play on the impulsive mindset include:

• Gift cards – Kroger has linked $10 off deals to the purchase of $100 in gift cards, which tie for the lead with technology products as the gift shoppers expect to spend more on this year, according to Nielsen’s Holiday Forecast.

• Alcoholic beverages – Safeway has aggressive holiday plans for its exclusive line of occasion-based wines sheathed in elegant  wraps. And Piggly Wiggly will promote growler pours of its Pig Swig holiday beer.

• Toys – Wegmans has brought in a line of toys made from recycled milk jugs, and Meijer will be the exclusive distributor of a toy sourced from the winner of its Next Great Toymaker Contest. 

Since gift shopping isn’t top of mind when grabbing groceries, the placement of eye-catching displays front and center is key.

While they may not come from a high-end designer, one-of-a-kind selections that were easy to come by will go a long way in delighting gifters and recipients.

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Liz Webber

Liz Webber is Engagement Director / Fresh Market Editor at Supermarket News. She covers fresh foods for the magazine and creates multimedia, blog posts and other content for the website. She joined...

Elliot Zwiebach

Elliot Zwiebach has been with Supermarket News for more than 45 years — a span difficult for him to comprehend, having once been the youngest reporter on the staff. During that time he has...
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