U.S. retailers get creative for holidays

Published on
December 22, 2010

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Supermarkets are taking a new approach to promoting seafood this holiday season, focusing on different marketing avenues than they have in the past.

United Supermarkets in Lubbock, Texas, has pushed sales of its shrimp party trays and other seafood items much higher this December with an internal sales contest among its stores.

“Our distributor, Seattle Fish of Albuquerque, N.M., is offering three of our seafood managers a trip to the Boston Seafood Show,” said Scott Nettles, meat and seafood director for United.

The contest, which runs from 26 November through 8 January, includes displays of cooked shrimp party trays, ranging from 3 to 5 pounds each and priced starting at USD 29.99 per tray.

“The shrimp trays are doing extremely well — sales are up 15 to 20 percent already. Our same-store sales of seafood are up around 15 percent [in December],” said Nettles.

Nettles is surprised that whole, cooked lobsters and lobster tails have also been popular for Thanksgiving and the December holidays. After a successful run with its 1-pound whole, cooked lobster promotion at Thanksgiving, United brought back the lobster for the Christmas season.

“They make for a beautiful presentation, and we have done extremely well with those at USD 6.99 a pound,” said Nettles. Five-ounce lobster tails, which retail for USD 7.99 per pound, are also selling “extremely well,” added Nettles.

Meanwhile, the single-store The Hills Market in Columbus, Ohio, is doing well with USD 5 coupons for 2.5-pound packages of Contessa frozen shrimp and USD 20 coupons for two, 2.5-pound packages of the shrimp.

“Instead of putting shrimp on sale and offering a coupon this holiday season, we are only offering the coupon, so that customers can more easily realize the amount of money they will be saving,” said Jill Moorhead, spokesperson for The Hills.

“We have partnered with one of our suppliers, Michael’s Finer Meats and Seafood, to be able to offer these discounts. We have promised high volume in sales, and they’ve provided an extremely discounted price for us,” added Jordan Moore, seafood director for The Hills.

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