Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Southern California Market Report: Safeway Stores,'the market by Vons' Mass-Mails First Advertising and Promotional Flyer to Vons Club Card Members

Safeway Stores, Inc. has mass-mailed its first promotional flyer for its first small-format grocery store, "the market at Vons," which opened in Long Beach, California in May.

The advertising sheet, which was mass mailed to members of Vons' Club Card who live not only in the neighborhood where the store is located but also to residents who live a considerable distance away from the grocery store, introduces the Long Beach small-format grocery market as "Your neighborhood store (that) offers the best of everything."

The front of the advertising flyer, as you can see in the photograph at the top, features a picture of a bicycle with a basket full of groceries on it, with the tag line: "a refreshingly simple way to shop." The picture reinforces the messages of simplicity, conveniece, neighborhood, community, and the environment.

The messages are then elaborated on inside the flyer, pictured directly below, along with featuring items at promotional prices.

Below is the full text or copy inside of the mass-mailed promotional flyer:


Your neighborhood store offers only the best of everything.

a refreshingly simple way to shop
The Market by Vons is designed with a simple layout, so its easy to find what you're looking for. It's the perfect place for you're "fill-in" shopping or to grab a quick and delicious meal or snack.

the big little store
We offer a wide range of products, including fresh produce, meat and seafood, ready-to-enjoy meals, freshly baked goods and other everyday basics. So you can find everything you need but less of the things you don't, like long lines and 12 different kinds of ketchup.

no extra charge for convenience
You can expect the same great service and everyday value prices you'll find at Vons.

we want to be a responsible neighbor
Our store is 100% wind powered and is actively involved in programs that benefit our community.

have a taste
We offer samplings of our products daily. We'd like to help you discover what's in store in a delicious way.

Safeway is offering 10% off every item in "the market by Vons" small-format grocery store in the advertising flyer for the entire month of July.

In addition to the across the board 10%-off deal, the flyer promotion offers five features at fairly substantial discounts above 10%. These features are: A package of Safeway's private label Eating Right healthy brand fresh mixed lettuce greens, offered for free with no minimum purchase; $2-off any of Safeway's popular O' Organics store brand organic food and grocery items in the store; $3 off of the regular price of Safeway's Signature Cafe in-store roasted ready-to-eat whole chickens; and two deals on wines.

Safeway's Southern California Vons division has preloaded these promotions into all of the Vons Club Cards so that when shoppers purchase the items at the Long Beach "the market by Vons" store the promotional prices will automatically be reflected at the point-of-sale.

In the advertising flyer, under the "a refreshingly simple way to shop" header, Safeway mentions "The Market" is great for "your fill-in shopping." This is the retailer's positioning of the small-format "The Market" stores as we first reported here.

Unlike Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, which is positioning its small-format (10,000 -to- 13,000 square foot) Fresh & Easy combination basic grocery and fresh foods Fresh & Easy stores as everyday or primary shopping neighborhood grocery markets, Safeway is positioning its "The Market" small-format (15,000 -to- 20,000 square foot stores) as more upscale, "fill-in " shopping venues as part of a multi-format strategy. In Southern California that multi-format strategy including Vons supermarkets and superstores, Vons Pavilions supermarkets, which have an upscale and specialty foods focus, and now the small-format "The Market" format, the first store of which is "the market by Vons" in Long Beach.

The Long Beach "The Market" store has come under some criticism since opening in May for having prices which some shoppers say are just too high in general, while others have commented the small-format store's prices are higher than those at traditional Vons supermarkets in Southern California.

Fresh & Easy Buzz has learned two things in this regard.

First, Safeway is adjusting the pricing in the Long Beach "market by Vons" store to make sure its generally in line with the everyday pricing at nearby Vons supermarkets.

Second, we've learned Safeway plans to mass mail flyers like this first one on a regular basis in order to create a value proposition for "The Market," along with positioning the format as convenient, quality and community-oriented.

In the mass-mailed advertising piece, Safeway says the Long Beach store is powered 100% by renewable wind power. The grocery chain is achieving this by buying wind power credits for 100% of all the energy the store consumes. Safeway has been doing this for some time for the stores throughout the U.S. in which it operates fueling or gas stations alongside the supermarkets. Every Safeway fueling center is powered by wind energy in the form of Safeway buying wind power credits equally the energy used by those gas stations.

As Safeway opens more "The Market" format stores, the retailer plans to put a major emphasis on the dual and compatible concepts of the environment and community with the small-format stores.

Green issues are front and center currently at Safeway. In addition to the wind power credits, Safeway is in the process of putting solar panel arrays on about 35 of its supermarkets in Northern California. The solar panels are designed to provide about 35% of a stores total energy use. Additional panels are set to be installed on more stores in Northern California as well as on a number of stores in Southern California.

Safeway also is converting its entire trucking fleet from traditional fossil based diesel fuel to biodiesel fuel, made from vegetable oils. The retailer initiated this program last year, before the price of diesel fuel soared, primarily for environmental reasons. However, with diesel fuel edging towards $6 a gallon, the economics of converting its huge trucking fleet to biodiesel should pay off well for the grocery chain much faster than it anticipated they would.

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