Kroger banners support kids with charitable campaigns
LOS ANGELES — Kroger banners Ralphs and Food 4 Less/Foods Co have kicked off their respective charitable campaigns to benefit children in the markets they serve.
Ralphs, which operates 256 supermarkets, expressed its support of City of Hope’s Kids 4 Hope program — a fundraising program for pediatric cancer — by encouraging customers to donate their spare change at Ralphs checkstands nationwide. Ralphs said that through its charitable arm, The Ralphs Fund, the retailer will support pediatric research, treatment and educational programs at the City of Hope. The campaign runs through Feb. 26.
"With thousands of children diagnosed each year with cancer, the City of Hope’s Kids 4 Hope program is important in the fight against the disease, and Ralphs is proud to support this important effort," said Mike Donnelly, Ralphs president.
Meanwhile, Foods 4 Less/Foods Co — which operates 146 price-impact, warehouse-format supermarkets under the Food 4 Less banners in Southern California, Nevada, Illinois and Indiana, and Foods Co in Northern California — kicked off a children’s hospital fundraising campaign, which runs through May 21. The campaign encourages customers to donate their spare change at Food 4 Less/Foods Co checkstands nationwide. Since 2005, Food 4 Less/Foods Co, its team members and its customers have given more than $1 million to children’s hospitals, the company said.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Brand Vending has added multipacks to its lineup of Sqwishland collectible animals. The new six- and 12-pack Sqwishlander Surprise Mix collections contain an assortment of regular, rare and ultra-rare squishies. The six-packs sell for $4.99, and 12-packs retail for $9.99.
Collectibles — especially those priced from $5 to $10 — have proved an enduring trend in the toy category. More than 55 million Sqwishlander characters have been sold since they were introduced to vending machines four years ago. The rubbery characters carry a code for online games at Sqwishland.com.
CVS, Walgreens and Toys “R” Us are a few of the retailers carrying multipack squishies.
Photo trends shift; focus turns to cards, books
As photo processing continues to evolve, retailers are finding new ways to make the department profitable. Bing Liem, VP sales for Fujifilm North America, said retailers need to re-evaluate their existing on-site photo business.
“It’s critical to maximize the use of existing assets,” he said. New product offerings, such as posters, folded cards, calendars and books, help maximize the value of the category, Liem said.
Photo printing through retail and online sources remained flat in 2010, according to the Photo Marketing Association, with total print volume (both standard photo film and digital prints) sales dipping 7% over the previous year.
Gary Pageau, a spokesman for PMA, said higher margin photo publishing products, such as photo books and calendars, offer opportunity, as do cards and stationery. “Retailers have to adapt their business. That can mean anything from offering storage to offering online scrapbooks,” he said.
A new opportunity may be 3-D photography. “It’s making a resurgence, so retailers have an opportunity to get into that niche,” Pageau said. “The future is in a number of niche businesses rather than the old model of one product accounting for 90% of the market.”
The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Photo Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.