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Store: Geissler’s Supermarket
Location: East Windsor
Owner: Nilsson Family, Robert Rybick – President
Store Manager: Cindy Collet
Over the past year we've really increased our local offerings—both in packaged goods and fresh—to align with IGA's Local Equals Fresh brand position. But it's not enough just to offer the local products; if you're not also telling that local story, you're not going to get the full benefit from your new offerings. With that in mind, we're now concentrating on building a stronger relationship with each local supplier, which starts with taking the time to go out to our local partners to see their operation and learn more about the company. From there, we work with them to develop a full marketing plan that includes in-store promotions and online marketing. The result has been new products on our shelves, new promotions that draw shoppers into our store, and new shopper email signups.
We had been offering Carla’s Pasta for a long time, but we had no idea about all the different items they made, including corporate-sized products, until we met with them. Our food service manager coordinated with their corporate chefs to produce signature store-made items that we added to our prepared-food service. We also discovered that they had more advertising dollars to share and were willing to spend them on an in-store contest for free pasta for a year, tied to Frozen Food Month.
Sales increase in Carla's Pasta so far in 2019 compared to all of 2018
Units of Carla’s Pasta sold in 2019 vs. 2018
Identify existing partnerships in your store. Look at the products you already carry and review your business with the company.
Meet with the company at its location. Get its background and history. Get images and video for use on social media and your website.
Make a sweeter deal. For better distribution, more ad dollars, etc.
Plan new promotions with your partners. Hold sampling events and contests as part of your enhanced partner relationship.
Promote on social media. We ran a video on social media to promo the Carla’s contest. Then we posted the contest results. Including pictures of the winner helps the post goes viral post-contest. The winner shares with friends, which results in ongoing free and positive press.
Gives them more local product choices. We were able to expand Carla’s selections in our store.
Raises the bar for new local partnerships. Once you get an existing partner that will do a sampling event or sponsor a contest, for example, you can let your new suppliers know that this is what you expect of them when they approach you.
Increases email signups and social media reach. We netted 313 email signups for the Carla’s contest; 168 were new emails. The contest achieved a reach of 16,240 on social media.
Be persistent. You won’t know if a local partner will do more until you ask. Some people will walk away. Ask the next person.
Include information about your partners on your website. We have a page on our website dedicated to our local partners that promotes their company and products, with a map showing their location. This adds value to our local partners.