Checkout stands at 82 Family Fare, Glen’s Markets and VG’s stores in Michigan have become moving message boards with colorful, eye-catching graphics and messages printed on antimicrobial conveyor belt covers. That’s according to Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Spartan Stores, which says the move is one of the newest ways in which supermarkets are reaching consumers with marketing and promotional messages in an effort to build loyalty and sales.
Spartan Stores is working with Handstand Innovations, a Grand Rapids-based company and owner of the patented MessageWrap product. Artwork for the checkstand belt covers is designed in Spartan Stores’ graphic services department and then sent to Handstand Innovations for printing and installation.
Currently, consumer messages have been designed to promote:
• Price freeze savings program—Now more than 500 lower prices, frozen prices on the season’s hottest items, look for price freeze tags and save;
• Yes rewards card program—Earn points to get free groceries, thousands of low prices every day with “yes,” get pumped up with discounts on fuel with yes card; and
• Pharmacy awareness—Part of Spartan Stores’ health/ wellness initiative: the ultimate get well card is the yes card, the cure for high prices—$4 and $10 generic medications, free antibiotics, diabetic medications and prenatal vitamins, prescriptions filled while you shop, hundreds of insurance plans accepted and easy transfers.
Attributes of MessageWrap
• Complete customization of graphics/messages;
• Offers limitless marketing opportunities;
• Powerful way to engage consumers at the checkout;
• Belt installs in minutes; and
• Material used is Good Armor anti-microbial coating for a safety/hygiene benefit for consumers that prevents the spread of germs and bacteria from grocery products and shopper contact.
MessageWrap was first deployed at Family Fare Kentwood for 60 days of testing, and results were successful, according to a news release. Positive consumer research indicated that shoppers were aware of and interested in the belt graphics so plans proceeded to install them at 82 store locations in January 2013.
Susan Vanderploeg, founder of Handstand Innovations, says, “MessageWrap is a breakthrough in shopper marketing—an innovative and effective way to engage shoppers at checkout while keeping the most widely used shopper surface area in the store clean and safe to the touch. We are excited to help Spartan Stores foster shopper loyalty and improve store operations.”
Spartan Stores is the nation’s 10th largest grocery distributor with 1.4 million s.f. of warehouse, distribution and office space located in Grand Rapids. The company distributes more than 40,000 private and national brand products to approximately 375 independent grocery locations in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio and to its 100 corporate-owned stores located in Michigan, including Family Fare Supermarkets, Glen’s Markets, D&W Fresh Markets, VG’s Food and Pharmacy and Valu Land.