SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Price Chopper Supermarkets here has signed a five-year agreement with Tickets.com, Costa Mesa, Calif., to sell event tickets for the Pepsi Arena in Albany, N.Y. The entertainment service, which is a retail exclusive for the Price Chopper stores in the Albany market, will take effect by the end of the month, said spokeswoman Mona Golub.
Patrons of the Pepsi Arena will be able to purchase tickets at the arena, over the phone, online and at Price Chopper stores. Initially, 20 Price Chopper stores in the Albany area will participate, with the retailer planning to expand the offering to 23 additional stores, Golub said. There is no time line set for the expansion, she said.
"An electronic ticketing outfit located within our supermarkets means that Price Chopper has effectively become a distribution point for event tickets through Tickets.com. The Pepsi Arena will be the first of a number of venues and events that will engage Tickets.com and Price Chopper as an e-ticket company," Golub said. The retailer will receive a commission for each ticket sold, Golub told SN, but she did not specify how much.
Co-promotional opportunities will increase, Golub said. "For instance, we have been working with the Pepsi Arena for a number of years in co-promoting with our AdvantEdge card -- our customer care card -- to save consumers dollars off ticket purchases to shows, and we anticipate linking with more shows along the way."
Increased foot traffic and heightened exposure sweeten the deal for the retailer. "We're looking forward to increased traffic in our stores, as well as exposure through marketing and advertising from Tickets.com and the Pepsi Arena," Golub said. Price Chopper will be included in all of the marketing and advertising for the arena, she said.
Tickets will be available at Price Chopper's guest services centers. Hardware is being installed, and associates are being trained by Tickets.com to use the e-ticket sales system, Golub said.
"Only a small portion of all of the tickets sold will be through our outlets, and we can accommodate long lines more easily than an outside ticket window at a box office," she said. "In our case, customers can stand in a warm store and have a hot coffee and a doughnut while they wait."
Selling tickets will provide differentiation for the supermarket, according to Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys, a New York-based research consultancy. "This is different and meaningful to the general public. Companies are looking to build in values related to things that contribute to peoples' desire to shop at a location or to give them a strong reason to come in," he said.