Third-generation Texas grocer Jay Lawrence, president/owner of Lawrence Bros. Foods, has gotten creative in replacing the traditional ad program for his company’s 10 stores since the Covid-19 crisis set in.
Since it’s not possible to get a seven-day supply of product to enable a weekly ad, Lawrence Bros. is utilizing a digital coupon on its app through RSA America.
“We’ve offered a $5 coupon to all of our app users to be used on a $30 purchase, which allows our customer to come in and use the $5 on any item,” Lawrence told The Shelby Report. “So instead of having items that we procured for a weekly ad run out on the first or second day because of the type of buying we’ve been seeing the last 10 days and having disappointed customers, we thought this is a great way for us to show appreciation to our customers and just give them a $5 coupon off of anything in the store.
“We’ve chosen that route this week to promote not only the business but offer an appreciation coupon to our app users,” Lawrence said in a March 24 phone interview.
“We’ll do this every week as long as we need to to offer our customers continued value in shopping our stores…until such a time as we are able to procure enough ad merchandise for a regular ad,” he added.
Like other grocers, Lawrence Bros. is operating under “a new sanitation protocol that involves wiping down baskets and checkstands and really all flat surfaces several times a day just to keep germs in general but in particular the Covid-19 virus away as much as possible,” said Lawrence.
It has not yet become necessary for his stores to set specific hours for senior shoppers since they typically come in earlier in the morning anyway, but store hours have been shortened. (If seniors need home delivery, Lawrence Bros. will perform that service for them.)
Lawrence lauded his company’s wholesaler, Associated Wholesale Grocers in Kansas City, for how it has handled this swift change.
“We’ve had issues with procuring product, but our wholesaler, AWG in Kansas City, has done a terrific job of allocating product to not only to us but all of our members,” he said. “I can’t tell you how much we appreciate them and the way they have approached what I call a crisis.”
Lawrence’s grandfather started his first store in Sweetwater, Texas, in 1929.