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Wegmans conducts survey on consumer baby-care shopping habits

BY Drew Buono

ROCHESTER, N.Y. Wegmans Food Markets is conducting a survey through its newsletter to find out among other objectives, how it measures up against mass merchants and wholesale clubs when it comes to baby’s needs.

Earlier this week, the chain sent an invitation to its email newsletter subscribers urging them to take an online survey of their baby care preferences and shopping habits. The survey is aimed at those customers who have purchased baby products at its stores within the last two months.

The chains is asking its customers to gauge the importance of such factors as the amount of in-store space dedicated to baby items, variety, the availability of store brands and club packaging, adequate inventory, price; and such non-category factors as time spent at checkout, a child-friendly environment, and assistance in carrying groceries to the car. The survey is also looking for shopping behavior with regard to baby care categories at its rivals including warehouse clubs, mass merchants, and supercenters.

Wegmans also is asking survey respondents whether it has been able to live up to their shopping expectations; and how it could improve the shopping experience in regard to baby care items.

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Pepsi revamps Web site, boosts digital media presence

BY Jenna Duncan

PURCHASE, N.Y. Pepsi-Cola North America has given its Web site, pepsi.com, a total makeover.

The purpose of the Pepsi site re-launch was to simplify the visitor experience, the company said. Pages were designed so users can easily select links to four main features, including: the Design Our Pepsi Can promotion contest, Diet Pepsi Max information pages, the Pepsi Racing page featuring NASCAR tie-ins and Pepsi Stuff, the site’s merchandise page.

“Lots of assets live on our pages,” John Vail, director of interactive marketing group for Pepsi-Cola North America said. “We wanted to make an easy way to find so consumers don’t have to hunt and peck.”

Pepsi.com was launched in 1996 and gets a facelift about every two years. The company said that the site receives about a million unique hits per month.

Each year, Pepsi North America seems to move even more of its marketing efforts to digital media. In 2007, the company spent about $17.5 million on digital media for its beverage brands, nearly doubling the amount spent in 2006 ($9.4 million), according to reports.

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Del Monte names Pearce its first CMO

BY Jenna Duncan

NEW YORK Del Monte Foods today announced that William Pearce will chair the newly created positions of company chief marketing officer and senior vice president.

“We’ve created the position of [chief marketing officer] to further elevate our focus on marketing strategy, innovation, and execution across our portfolio,” Del Monte chairman and chief executive officer, Rick Wolford, said in a news release. “This centralized organizational structure located in San Francisco will continue to build on our marketing success, enhancing marketing’s role in lead our future strategy.”

Wolford added that he “looks forward to leveraging [Pearce’s] proven track record of attracting top talent.”

Pearce joins Del Monte after serving as chief marketing officer at Taco Bell. Del Monte is currently working towards centralized marketing operations at the San Francisco headquarters, and also integrating pet and consumer marketing teams.

In addition to heading marketing operations, Pearce will also be responsible for covering pet and consumer campaigns, and package design and promotions.

Del Monte has not said whether it will up its marketing spending this year or not. But, in 2007, Del Monte’s advertising budget was around $18 million.

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