Lion King cakes, in various sizes, were featured on a 10-foot by 4-foot display table between the bakery and the service deli at the front left corner of the store.
The eye-catcher, drawing attention to the display, was a huge stuffed figure of Lion King suspended from the ceiling. In the middle of the table, which was covered with a jungle-print cloth, a video screen showed the Lion King movie.
Quarter-sheet cakes featuring three-dimensional figures of Simba and Nala -- characters in the movie -- were $15.99. A tray with an 8-inch, single-layer cake and 18 cupcakes surrounding it was $9.99. Both the cake and cupcakes sported Lion King stickers. One end of the table also held unrelated impulse items such as 8-inch square snack cakes and three-packs of brownies.
The Lion King cakes were assembled from layers that were sourced frozen and decorated in-store, a store-level source said.
A shipper display of Lion King movies and a rack of small, stuffed Lion King figures were displayed alongside the table. The bakery here got the ring for the videos and stuffed animals as well as for the baked goods, according to the source. (Stores in Food Lion's 307-unit Southern division do not have video departments.)
The themed impulse table was launched two months ago in the store with a display featuring Snow White cakes and the Snow White movie, the chain source said. Power Rangers were scheduled next, he added.
Officials at the l,035-unit Food Lion chain, based in Salisbury, N.C., could not be reached for comment on the theme display program. The store source said the display was the bakery manager's idea.
"We need something to liven things up. We have a seasonal clientele, so traffic is light now and more competition is coming into the area," the source said, citing a second Wal-Mart Supercenter opening in the area. Supermarket chains that have stores in the immediate area are Jacksonville, Fla.-based Winn-Dixie; Boise, Idaho-based Albertson's, and Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets. B&B Cash Grocery Stores, Tampa, Fla., also recently opened a U-Save store here.