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Grocery stores leverage team spirit to boost in-store purchases

Multi-functional cash and check processing machines are especially valuable for retailers that depend heavily on weekend sales during the football season.

In today's increasingly high-tech retail market, consumers have a variety of options available for making purchases. The growth of the e-commerce industry has encouraged many brick-and-mortar retailers to enhance the in-store experience to attract and retain more shoppers. Some supermarkets and grocery stores around the nation have even decided to take advantage of seasonal traditions to lure people into their establishments.

Rewarding die-hard fans
Football season is a generally a busy time for supermarkets. Between high school, college and professional teams, U.S. consumers spend hours during fall and winter tailgating and watching games. These activities almost always require frequent trips to local grocery stores to purchase food and beverages. According to Supermarket News, a nationally circulated trade magazine serving the food distribution industry, a total of 64 Albertsons grocery store franchises in Washington state recently unveiled a temporary promotion that aims to directly target football fans. Throughout the entire regular National Football League season, patrons who visit the store wearing Seattle Seahawks jerseys will receive a 10 percent discount on their total purchases.

Other stores around the nation are employing similar strategies. A separate article from Supermarket News said H-E-B, a grocery chain based in San Antonio, Texas, said the store has released a private label ice cream honoring the Houston Texans NFL football team. The "Texans Tackle Crackle" ice cream flavor will only be available in H-E-B stores. YouTube videos featuring the team's defensive lineman J.J. Watt and his mother will help promote the new product in local markets.

Capitalizing on current trends
These two most recent examples of supermarkets leveraging current events and seasonal traditions to entice people into their brick-and-mortar stores comes as many consumers around the nation are more interested in using cash to purchase goods. Reporter Amy Pavuk wrote in the Orlando Sentinel's Frugal Force blog about the benefits of using cash when attempting to save money on food costs.

"You'd be surprised at how conscientious you become when you choose your meals and snacks purely on the amount of cash you have in hand," Pavuk said. "You're forced to make sacrifices that you may not make if you pay with your debit or credit cards, because you don't have any physical limit at the checkout lane."

Grocery stores that use multi-function cash and check processors in back offices can streamline the workday and spend more time on the floor with customers. Pairing this technology with seasonal promotions, such as those used by Albertsons and H-E-B during football season ultimately create a win-win situation for both businesses and shoppers.

November 1, 2013