MODESTO, Calif. -- In an attempt to keep summer volume steady, Save Mart Supermarkets here spotlighted cakes in full-page ads twice this summer and had "great results."
"The second cake sale, which we held the week of July 4th, was really phenomenal. Sales just went crazy," said Piccininni. "Sales were 15% higher than they were for the first one, in June. That was a surprise because in June people are having graduation celebrations and it's just more of a cake time usually," he said, but added that the bakeries were much better prepared the second time around. "When we first decided to have a big cake sale, I'm sure the stores didn't think the results would be so good. I know some of them thought they'd sell a couple hundred, but in fact, some sold 2,000 during the first cake-sale week," he said.
For the second sale, the in-store bakeries made some up ahead of time and kept them in the freezer, he said.
Both events were launched with full-page ads featuring color photos of cakes and headlined, "Crazy Cake Sale." Four varieties of eight-inch, single-layer cakes were offered for $1.99. A quarter-sheet cake was featured at $9.99.
"At those prices, we just about broke even but it was worth it to get people in," Piccininni said. "Total bakery sales are up really well over the same period last year," he said, but declined to give specific numbers. "We wouldn't have done it a second time, if we hadn't been happy with the results the first time," he added.
The ad shows pictures of iced, round cakes, and a pineapple upside-down cake. A box superimposed on the photos says, "Choose from pineapple upside-down, 8-inch; chocolate cake, single-layer, iced with white or chocolate buttercreme, 8-inch; hot fudge sundae cake, single-layer, 8-inch; white cake, single-layer, iced with white or chocolate buttercreme, 8-inch, $1.99."
Underneath the box, larger type proclaims, "Deluxe, decorated 1/4-sheet cake, iced with your choice of buttercreme or whipped topping, $9.99." In small type: "No charge for fruit filling (excluding fresh fruit)."
The hot fudge sundae and pineapple upside-down cakes are made with mixes in-store, but the others are sourced frozen. All were packed in dome packages.