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    Center Store Gets Boost Through New Alliance

    PrimeZone’s ‘Center Store of the Future’ looks to enhance profile, space and sales

    News America Marketing is joining forces with design consortium Retail Development Alliance on PrimeZone, RDA’s proprietary, patent-pending solution designed to stop erosion of center store sales and profits.

    While perhaps best known for its at-shelf coupon machines, News America, a division of News Corp., has an extensive portfolio of in-store promotional and advertising vehicles. Additionally, it publishes the Sunday coupon insert, SmartSource Magazine, delivered to more 74 million homes each week, and operates the online coupon site SmartSource.com and the free iPad couponing app SmartSource Xpress.

    PrimeZone is the result of RDA’s collaboration with retail architecture and design firm Sutti Associates; Emerson/Metro and one other leading retail shelving manufacturing company; a major refrigeration fixture manufacturer; and Emotive Digital Inc., the exclusive distributor of the only translucent HD LCD video screens in the United States.

    The concept is intended to answer the question of “what’s next?” in center store design.

    “We are looking forward to offering brands who reside within center store the opportunity to promote and advertise their products in such a unique way that allows for key selling propositions to be delivered at the point of display,” said Robert Luke, RDA president.

    Center store features mostly straight aisles, with little or no ability from either retailers or CPGs to cause shoppers to stop and take notice of products or features. The challenge has been puzzling CPG companies, retailers and marketers alike for the past several years, though 73 percent of all sales and 77 percent of profits* originate from this critical part of the store, making its success imperative to the financial health of both retailers and the products that are sold there.

    As focus has shifted in the past decade to improved produce, prepared foods, bakery and meat offerings designed to build excitement around store perimeters, center store has remained virtually unchanged since the rise of the self-service supermarket back in the 1930s.

    While there have been sporadic attempts to rethink this area of the store, RDA’s PrimeZone concept is purported to be the first practical solution that can be widely and immediately deployed. In addition, it can be installed without impacting the rest of the store or significantly reducing shelf space. In fact, RDA has shelving options offering an average of 10 percent more space than traditional shelving layouts, PrimeZone units can be arranged in a variety of configurations once installed, and refrigerated units integrate with the shelving. The layouts collectively manage traffic flow to create new display areas and maximize eye contact with product displays and advertising messages.

    Beyond changing the traditional shopping path through the center of the store, RDA’s PrimeZone incorporates an incredible array of enhancements over regular shelving, designed to both better highlight products on shelves and offer vastly improved promotional and advertising opportunities within the store. The shelving units contain unobtrusive lighting to spotlight specific items as well as embedded advertising vehicles. Once configured, the various layouts offer additional end caps, center caps, power sets, hot spots, corner boards and cross-aisle advertising banners in a limitless variety, due to their ability to be reset with minimal effort while fully stocked.

    Additionally, PrimeZone offers one of the most technologically advanced translucent HD LCD video in-store advertising delivery available. The use of translucent HD screens brings in-store advertising marketing to a completely new level. The result of these innovations is a store center that commands consumer attention, offers unprecedented marketing opportunities and ultimately drives both excitement and sales.

    “I don’t know of any other company that is enabling stores to significantly reinvent their center stores with such flexibility, technology and advertising space,” said Jesse Aversano, EVP of marketing at News America Marketing.

    News America Marketing is the official sales agent for RDA, with a decades-long relationship with some of the largest consumer packaged goods companies in the industry. 

    *Willard Bishop 2010, and Nielsen ACV data, 212 retailers with annual sales> $150M; Source of category volume is Nielson POS data with projections made for Walmart, Whole Foods and Trader Joes; 52 wks ending Jun 2010 vs 52 wks ending Jun 2006. Year 5 inflation adjusted using US Dept Labor Statistics All Items CPI

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