CHERRY HILL, N.J. -- A ShopRite unit here is one of four area stores that introduced a wedding registry last month to promote nonfood and other grocery items.
Customers can order one or more themed baskets, each containing about 20 to 25 items, from a list of basics needed to set up a new household. ShopRite units in Mount Laurel, Marlton and Delran ran the program as well.
"We wanted to try something a little different, and this seemed ideally suited for wedding or shower gifts," said Steve Ravitz, president of Supermarket of Cherry Hill, a company that operates the four ShopRite units and three stores under the Talk of the Town banner.
"This is just an idea that we never tried before. It's also a way to make some of our nonfood and other products stand out clearer," added the retailer.
ShopRite promotional brochures tout the retailer as bridal registry headquarters. Copy points out that "if you or someone you know is planning a wedding, plan on signing up for the wedding registry at ShopRite."
Although the program wasn't designed to supplant the traditional bridal registry at a department store or bridal shop, the copy further states "we provide the more realistic staple items new couples need most and at a time when they can least afford to buy them all."
A bride that signs on to the program qualifies for a coffee maker worth $29.95 as a gift from the retailer after the marriage, when the wedding certificate is presented at the courtesy counter. The appliance brand will vary based on store stock.
Four of the 10 themed wedding registry gift baskets are devoted to general merchandise and health and beauty care products.
Samples of white-and-tan rattan gift baskets, which are overwrapped in clear cellophane with red, green and blue bows and streamers, are displayed near the front of stores on tables with lace-trimmed white covers.
An overhead ceiling dangler suspended over the display points out "finally a wedding basket registry with gifts you can use every day."
Products packed into the sample baskets contain assorted branded and private-label ShopRite nonfood items. The product range in general merchandise includes housewares and household cleaning implements like brooms, sponges and buckets. In HBC, products range from analgesics to cotton balls. The baskets can also be customized.
A "White Glove Special" housewares pail priced at $35.95 contains basic house-cleaning products from a broom and scrub brush to dust pan and brush, rubber gloves and Brillo pads.
In the "Wishing Well" basket, selling for $84.95, housewares items include Bonny vegetable brushes and kitchen gadgets and tools such as a rolling pin, baster, pot holder, timer, whisk and kitchen towel.
Selections found in the "Lite Up Your Life" basket, retailing at $51.95, are: Duracell D and 9-volt batteries; private-label ShopRite lightbulbs in a three-way long-life form; a four-pack of 65-watt bulbs, four-pack of 75-watt bulbs and four-pack of Sylvania yellow bug light and night light; Eveready flashlight; white and brown electrical extension cords; a smoke and fire detector and a blank Fuji videotape.
The "Beauty and the Groom" HBC basket priced at $48.95 groups typical medicine chest items including peroxide, digital thermometer, gauze, sterile pads, Crest toothpaste, Therapeutic Mineral Ice, Emory boards, extra-strength nonaspirin gelcaps, Curad bandages, Q-tips and Vaseline Intensive Care lotion.
Squeezed into the $69.95 "Honey, I Have a Headache" basket were baking supplies like sugar, corn starch, herbs and spices, Hershey's cocoa, pasta, as well as Mudd spa treatment, skin lotion and Colgan bath product.
Products from the soap and detergents aisle, including liquid detergents, Static Guard, Woolite and starch, fill the "Ring Around the Collar" basket, priced at $49.95.
The $41.95 "Pasta Rama" basket is crammed with assorted pasta products, grated cheese, cans of anchovies, spaghetti sauce and packaged black olives. The "Spice of Life" basket, with a $50.95 price tag, was packed with private-label and McCormick spices, dry mustard, salt, Old Bay Seasoning and onion flakes.
The "Honeymoon Is Over" grocery gift basket, with a $44.95 price point, stressed quick-meal ideas with cans of tuna, Manwich, jelly, spaghetti sauce and Tuna Helper.
The Marlton store's customer-service manager meets with wedding registry customers and keeps track of the gift baskets ordered to avoid duplications.
Ravitz estimated the fully completed baskets, which are to be filled by employees from store shelves, should take about 30 minutes each to fully assemble. He said the empty baskets are purchased for about $2 each.