Walmart learns social media lesson for BTS
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Classrooms by Walmart is the name of a new social media initiative the retailer launched Tuesday to simplify back-to-school shopping for millions of moms who view the season as an opportunity for a fresh start.
Walmart digitized every school supply list it could get its hands on to create an online compilation of thousands of lists representing schools in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The online list offering complements the availability of lists the retailer also provides in stores. Classrooms by Walmart is the latest innovation to come from the retailer’s @WalmartLabs online and social media think tank. The company said it is the first major retailer to digitize thousands of school supply lists and said new lists would be added throughout the summer as they become available.
“For the moms who shop our stores, back-to-school isn’t just about checking items off their lists. It’s about a fresh start, changing routines and getting children ready with products that match their personalities and budgets,” said Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S. “We’re committed to setting our customers up for success this back-to-school season by sticking to our plan — offering everyday low prices and the broadest assortment of the right merchandise their families need.”
Walmart is approaching the back-to-school season with a slightly different mindset this year based on a survey of 1,000 moms conducted in June by the company’s shopper insights group. The results of the research determined that moms view the new school year in much the same way as people view the New Year. It is an opportunity for a fresh start with nine out of 10 of those surveyed making some type of resolution.
Some familiar behavior modifications topped the list. For example, 78% of moms said they plan to get organized while another 75% said they anticipate trying to save more money. In addition, eating healthier was identified as a school year resolution by 61% of respondents, half of whom indicated cost was a factor in achieving that goal.
The findings reinforce Walmart’s merchandising strategy, which is to offer unbeatable prices on the broadest range of merchandise available, including key back-to-school categories. Accordingly, Walmart said it would offer more than 100 items including pencil pouches, lunch totes, notebooks, gel pens and dry erase boards for 88 cents. The company also touted the affordability of its clothes, shoes and backpacks, noting those are the three most important purchases moms make for the school year.
Later this month, Walmart plans to leverage the capabilities of its @WalmartLabs organization further when it launches the Back to School Closet Creator. The online resource is designed to help families on a budget mix and match outfits.
Food Lion launches new brand strategy for N.C., S.C. stores
SALISBURY, N.C. — Food Lion has implemented its new brand strategy in the retailer’s North Carolina and South Carolina stores.
The new brand strategy — first launched in the Raleigh and Fayetteville, N.C., markets, as well as Chattanooga, Tenn., in May 2011, followed by an additional 268 rebranded stores located in Virginia, West Virginia and the outer banks of North Carolina that were overhauled in March — offers customers lower prices on 6,000 items throughout the store and access to quality store-brand products at lower prices, including the company’s My Essentials value tier, as well as enhanced produce and an easy and convenient shopping experience, such as faster checkout.
Food Lion said it launched the new brand strategy in stores located in the greater markets of Salisbury, N.C., the company’s headquarter city; Charlotte, N.C.; Greensboro, N.C.; High Point, N.C.; Winston-Salem, N.C.; Hickory, N.C.; Asheville, N.C.; and Rock Hill, S.C., and the upstate of South Carolina, including Greenville, S.C., and Spartanburg, S.C. Food Lion also remodeled 28 stores in North Carolina.
"[Today’s] launch is a pivotal turning point for our company as we have implemented our new strategy in more than 700 stores," Food Lion president Cathy Green Burns said. "We invite customers to visit their local Food Lion, where they will experience firsthand the enhancements we have made in our stores. We are committed to being recognized as a price leader, making our stores easier to shop, offering the greatest value in store brands and providing the freshest produce. We are pleased to bring the strategy to our hometown markets, where we have served Food Lion customers for 55 years.
"We are very pleased with the reaction from our customers since we introduced our new brand strategy," Green Burns said. "During the past year, we have continued to refine the strategy based on additional customer feedback and have made new enhancements for our customers. We look forward to winning new customers and continuing to serve our existing customers with enhanced Food Lion stores in our home markets."
Pepsi Next introduces cherry vanilla, paradise mango flavors
PURCHASE, N.Y. — Pepsi has expanded its Pepsi Next brand with two new flavors.
Pepsi Next cherry vanilla and Pepsi Next paradise mango flavors deliver real cola taste with 60% less sugar than regular Pepsi, the company said.
"Earlier this spring, Pepsi Next launched to national fanfare, turning cola lovers into believers by delivering on real cola taste with 60% less sugar than Pepsi, and for many, it was love at first sip," Pepsi VP marketing Angelique Krembs said. "We’re continuing the momentum by infusing real cola taste with unique flavor blends, and giving cola lovers two more reasons to drink it to believe it."
Pepsi Next cherry vanilla and Pepsi Next paradise mango flavors will be available at Walmart Supercenter stores nationwide and wherever Pepsi products are sold beginning July 15 through Sept. 8.