LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- SofSource, a desktop software publisher, reported that more and more supermarkets and other retail channels are converting to permanent in-line software programs at the rate of 500 sites per month.
Paul Jacobson, founder and president of the eight-year-old company, told SN that of the 7,000 SofSource software programs currently in supermarkets, roughly 4,000 are permanent. Furthermore, he said, his company has run promotions in approximately 15,000 supermarkets.
"The attitude that I've found in supermarkets or any mass market account is 'There's a future in this. This is the next video category or this is the next book category,' " he said.
Only in rare cases do supermarket personnel decline even to experiment with it, he said. "The product gets in and in most instances, proves itself. Then it's just up to us to keep the program fresh and interesting for the consumers in the store."
Dillon Cos., Hutchinson, Kan., is in the process of installing a permanent program. Smitty's Super Valu, Phoenix, is installing permanent 4-foot service sections. Some divisions of Kroger Co., Cincinnati, carry permanent spinner racks and others have in-and-out corrugated display racks.
Jacobson estimated that supermarkets account for approximately 20% of SofSource's sales, with the other 80% going primarily to mass merchandisers such as Wal-Mart, Kmart and Sears. The software can also be found in OfficeMax, Eckerd Drug and Osco/ Savon drugstores.
SofSource offers about 180 titles in print, all retailing at under $15, with most falling in the $5.99 to $6.99 range. Products offered fall into three main categories: educational, entertainment and lifestyle or personal productivity.
The most popular merchandising tool for the software is a corrugated in-and-out temporary display. Stores running permanent programs usually have a 4-foot in-line display with 70 titles and 300 pieces of product. Another possibility is a freestanding spinner rack for the floor.