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Kroger celebrates Daytona 500 50th anniversary with largest NASCAR promotion ever

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI Kroger is hoping that their shoppers think NASCAR when they shop in one of its many stores.

Kroger and 50-plus brands are carrying what is being considered the largest promotion for NASCAR ever.

The brands, which include goods from General Mills, ConAgra, Kellogg and PepsiCo, will be sporting the Daytona 500 race logo in honor of the event’s 50th anniversary.

Kroger is one of the largest grocers in the United States with 2,500 stores in 37 states.

The retail effort will run for seven months, according to reports.

From accessories to soft drinks, nearly every product category will be under the promotional umbrella via newspaper circulars and advertisements in-store and in the media.

Kroger will also roll out NASCAR displays and host appearances by drivers.

According to the ISC, the Daytona 500 generated 30 million viewers last year, it was sold out attendance-wise, and a 30-second spot during broadcasts cost $500,000. Corporate sponsors of the 50th anniversary race run the gamut from Holiday Inn to Gatorade.

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Cyber Monday shoppers jam internet

BY Doug Desjardins

NEW YORK Cyber Monday generated record volume online that caused traffic jams at some retail sites. And while the final numbers are still coming in, total sales for the day are expected to equal or exceed the $700 million forecast by research firm ComScore Networks.

According to Internet tracking firm Akamai, online traffic peaked at 4.6 million visitors per minute at the more than 300 retail Internet site it tracks. The peak traffic was 37 percent higher than Cyber Monday in 2006.

That traffic also created problems at a few Web sites. Matt Poepsel, a vice president at online research firm Gomez, reported slow checkout times at Toysrus.com, Costco.com and CompUSA.com and said smaller retailers using Yahoo reported glitches during the payment process.

As usual, consumer electronics were the main draw for online shoppers looking for bargains. Some of the deals included $50 instant savings on digital cameras at Bestbuy.com and $300 off a Garmin GPS navigation system at Walmart.com. Wal-Mart also said that it’s extending Cyber Monday for the entire week and plans to offer new bargains each day.

Shop.org, the group that coined the “Cyber Monday” phrase in 2005, expected 72 million people to shop online Monday. And while sales were heavy yesterday, Cyber Monday isn’t likely to be the busiest day of the year. The top online sales day in 2006 was Dec. 13 and on Dec. 12 in 2005. Online sales are expected to top $39 billion during the holiday season this year.

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A&P sells off Metro for $347 million as part of Pathmark acquisition

BY Adam Kraemer

MONTVALE, N.J. Grocer A&P announced on Monday that it had completed the sale of its 11.7 million shares of Metro Inc. as part of its financing plan for buying Pathmark.

A&P expects to use the $347 million from the sale, together with borrowings under a reduced Bridge Facility and a portion of its increased $675 million ABL Facility to finance the deal.

A&P announced on Nov. 19 that it had filed the 14-day notice period with the Federal Trade Commission, stating that it may consummate its acquisition of Pathmark any time after Nov. 27. It expects the deal to close in early December.

A&P had revealed in March plans to acquire Pathmark for $1.3 billion in cash, stock and debt. The move—which hardly took the industry by surprise—will create a 550-store, $11 billion supermarket chain that will likely have a greater presence in pharmacy going forward.

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