Archie’s IGA Plus St. Marie’s, ID Department: Produce Difficulty: Easy
26,000 sq foot. store 1,200 sq. foot produce department 60 feet of wet rack, 32 feet of dry table plus displays Average weekly sales: $145-150k
We have been looking for a way to increase sales during the slow months. So, starting in January, we began offering our “Fill it Fresh” initiative. Basically, we chose 20-25 produce items and allowed customers to fill a bag with those items for a flat rate of $20. We advertised the promotion on Facebook and in our ad. The morning of the first Fill it Fresh arrived and, we couldn’t believe it, there were people there right when we opened ready to fill their bags. That day, we received more comments on our Facebook page than we ever had before, and we knew we were really on to something. Over those three days, produce department sales were up 49 percent. The interesting thing was that, even when we subtracted the sales from the Fill it Fresh bags, produce was still up substantially. When we ran Fill it Fresh again in March, produce was up 53.8 percent. Since then, we have held two more Fill it Fresh promotions and they have continued to be a great success.
150 bags of produce sold 50% increase in produce sales 10% customer count increase
WHY IT WORKS
For our shoppers: They Get a Great Deal A big bag full of fresh produce for $20, especially in the winter months, is viewed as a great value.
Helps with Wellness Goals By discounting healthy options, we help our customers eat better.
They Have Fun Customers enjoy seeing which items are available this time and strategizing to get the most for their money.
For the store: Increased Sales We are slower in the winter, so running the Fill it Fresh sale during that time gives us a nice boost.
Brings in More Customers For us, Fill it Fresh is not necessarily a gross driving promotion, but a customer count promotion. Our gross was down slightly, but the volume more than made up for it in dollar profits.
Organic Mentions The increases we see in comments and shares on our Facebook page has helped us get the word out without having to do as much promoting ourselves.
Pricing: The bags cost $20 each.
A month before the event, start to get organized. We begin discussing the event in our weekly strategy meetings to ensure that our team is ready to go.
After you choose the produce that is going to be included in the Fill it Fresh promotion, print out flyers with those items to make sure customers are clear about what they are allowed to put in their bags.
Prepare the store. Place clear signage about the sale throughout the store. In the produce section, have good signage that clearly identifies which produce items are included in Fill it Fresh. We do put limits on some of the produce, such as a limit of six apples, so you want to include that on the signs as well.
On the day of the event, have everything set up before you open. Put out plenty of bags, place the flyers next to the produce, and make sure that your produce employees and cashiers know which produce items are included in the promotion.
Be strategic when choosing the produce to include in the promotion. We always choose some seasonal produce, but it also helps to have some bigger items, like cantaloupes, that are going to help fill the bags more quickly.
Place your Fill it Fresh items on a separate table from the rest of the produce. The first time we ran the promotion, we thought that it would be a good idea to intermix Fill it Fresh and non-Fill it Fresh items, but it just led to confusion.
Experiment with the days that you run the promotion. We have tried running it Thursday-Saturday and Friday-Sunday. We were amazed at how much it increased sales on Sunday in particular.
Have a best practice of your own? We want to hear it!