Marketing Leaders in Marketing Groceries

Imagine going into a market on a Tuesday night, one week before Thanksgiving and discovering that store personnel are in cocktail attire. Food samples, wine, egg nog, cider, and a DJ turn an ordinary experience into a party for customers. Imagine that it's a major chain and not just a small community store. You're not dreaming. It's Publix, a market at the corner of Oakland Park Blvd and Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale. For decades, my 90 year-old Mom has been shopping here, greeted by clerks who know her and aisles that never change. I just happen to be in town to finally see what has become a tradition. With an aging population, it's obvious that a number of the customers have come here for dinner, intent upon turning numerous samples into a full course meal.And it's a gas! When was the last time you saw strangers grinning at each other and shopping carts being pushed to tunes by The Beach Boys? When was the last time you saw lots of free food AND wine in a retail grocery chain? Not only were customers trying (and buying) items they normally wouldn't select, but the goodwill send ripples of memories that will stay for a full year "Myrtle, try the cranberry horseradish with cream cheese. Remember, you liked it so much last year?" Myrtle grins and picks up a cracker. Another happy customer. Another jar sold.

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