What Marketing Resources Are Available?
Grocery Outlet marketing tools, advice and resources assist our independent operators
Grocery Outlet is no stranger to the airwaves. The 2011 creation of our puppet pals — Lois Prices and her Frugal Friends — has been a big hit.
Jason Olson, an independent operator in Pleasant Hill, California, is a big believer in Grocery Outlet’s advertising — so much so that he spent a chunk of his early earnings on making the brand more visible in his community. He saw huge rewards in the end, and his store is performing well above average. Our independent operators have the freedom to decide upon their own local marketing budget and to actively promote their stores to maximize sales and bottom-line financial results.
When we open a Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, we help new independent operators launch with comprehensive marketing and advertising campaigns. Grocery Outlet provides the independent operator with an e-mail marketing platform, in-store advertising broadcasts, product signs and price-item banners.
That assistance comes from our team of field marketing specialists. Their duties include understanding the Grocery Outlet Bargain Market customer and exposing the brand to the entire local community. The Grocery Outlet marketing team is in charge of generating advertising materials, helping stores become local marketers and incorporating years of knowledge collected from experienced independent operators about locally advertising, promoting and marketing Grocery Outlet Bargain Markets into our Aspiring Operators in Training (AOT) training program.
“When we open a store we offer a lot of grand-opening support paid for by Grocery Outlet,” says Mark Holz. “This includes a series of direct-mail pieces. We pay for the coupons, as well as bounce-back coupons after they shop. Prior to opening we work with the independent operator one-on-one to give them the opportunity to individualize their store grand opening program. We help operators execute their opening marketing plan and also run radio, print and digital advertisements to support the launch of their businesses.”
Marketing from the floor
Grocery Outlet is focused on the success of its independent operators. Our opportunistic buyers look for the best products available so that the merchandise practically jumps off the shelves.
Independent operators work with their network of peers to figure out what items are available at the best bargain price for the consumer. They also put their heads together to figure out how a great bargain can grab a customer’s attention. Sometimes an independent operator who’s successful at pushing a certain product takes pictures of a display and shares it with other Grocery Outlet independent operators.
Our independent operators care about how the brand is perceived across our many locations in five western states (CA, OR, WA, ID, NV) and in Pennsylvania. There is healthy competition among independent operators to achieve the highest sales, but everyone wants to see their peers thrive so the reputation of our brand is protected. Fostering positive brand publicity and consumer acceptance of our brand benefits every independent operator’s sales.
Other effective ways we grab the customer’s attention are through our Power Wall and comparison pricing. When customers first walk into a Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, they see a Power Wall loaded with WOW prices. These are the items priced so low to grab the customer’s attention so that customers will immediately load up their baskets. Because the independent operator business model includes consigning inventory to operators, meaning that we own the inventory in the independent operator’s Grocery Outlet until the inventory is sold to a customer, we control retail prices and go out of our way to emphasize the extreme-discount bargains to customers at every opportunity.
“We define WOWs through the eyes of the customers,” says Vice President of Purchasing Steve Wilson. “They’re typically national-branded products that are priced at 50% or less than at the traditional retailer. WOWs are so important that our buyers track them routinely to ensure an abundance of opportunity for our independent operators. We are all about the WOWs.”
We also list “elsewhere” pricing. These are prices of the same item found at a competing grocery store nearby. Customers see the price from elsewhere and compare it to ours.