PHOENIX — Wal-Mart incited a lift in sales of Easter cookies (260%), ham (1,000%) cakes (6,000%) and pineapples (245%) by distributing samples of the items as part of a program tied to a circular promotion. The retailer used the previous year, when the items weren't promoted, as a baseline, according to Terry Nannie, senior director of marketing for Wal-Mart. "Sampling reduces negative new purchase experiences," he said here yesterday at the Grocery Manufacturers Association's ...

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