Let’s talk turkey, the battle is on to win festive customers

Offers, recipes, planners, countdowns and celebrity chefs… Christmas is well underway at the multiples. Could you learn from the giants?

IT is the time of year when the supermarket chains bring out their heavy artillery in the battle to win festive customers. A small c-store can’t hope to enlist Heston Blumenthal to make its mince pies or Prue Leith to revamp its chilled range, but are there lessons to be learned from the big boys?
Traditionally local stores can beat giants on customer service but some of the multiples are trying to offer festive help. Asda, for example, plans to have Christmas staff tasked to fetch forgotten items and help shoppers navigate the store. A c-store equivalent might be to ask customers if they found everything they needed.
On the M&S website consumers can order whole meals, not just for Christmas Day but for Boxing Day, Christmas Eve and a family get-together. There’s not a direct c-store equivalent but ramping up the meal-solution efforts could pay dividends at such a busy time.
Morrisons has revived its Big Christmas Bonus scheme, where customers collect vouchers in the run up to the big day and then claim a £40 discount on their big Christmas shop. Tesco is already highlighting multi-buy offers on festive essentials like mince pies. All the more reason to ensure a c-store’s promo leaflets go out and PoS is in good shape and in great positions.
Multiples’ signposting reminds their shoppers to stock up on store cupboard and freezer items such as sauces, relishes, stuffing mix and ice cream, from early in the shopping season. Local stores can do exactly the same.
All the big players have festive recipes, from Heston’s Smoked Salmon cocktail (Waitrose) to Great British Chefs star Galton Blackiston’s Christmas Stuffing Burgers with tomato sauce (Tesco). C-stores can’t do the same but can offer meal solutions and world food items to spice up turkey leftovers.
The giant grocers’ “good, better, best” tiering systems can be extended by adding festive premium specials.
C-stores don’t have the same space but can carry special festive desserts, bake-off goods and food-to-go items.

Scottish Grocer, Christmas