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    Farmer Jack Supermarkets Relaunches 'Savings Time' Value Campaign

    DETROIT -- Reaching back into its advertising history, Farmer Jack here launched a new price-chopping campaign over the weekend, aimed at winning back market share in the competitive marketplace.

    DETROIT -- Reaching back into its advertising history, Farmer Jack here launched a new price-chopping campaign over the weekend, aimed at winning back market share in the competitive marketplace.

    With no interested suitors, Farmer Jack's Montvale, N.J.-based parent, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., last October voided plans to sell the 67-store chain in favor of a cost-cutting initiative that got underway in late 2005.

    The "It's Always Savings Time at Farmer Jack" campaign, which broke May 6, is supported by an aggressive advertising program including weekly hot circulars, radio ads, and truck signage.

    Providing background on the move, Tom Lenkevich, Farmer Jack divisional v.p. of operations, said: "We have a customer-focused plan of action to welcome customers into our stores [and] let them know that we are providing good value, day in and day out, fresh goods, and price-point savings. As Farmer Jack reintroduces our historic 'Savings Time' value pricing campaign, we have lowered the prices of over 4000 items. The 'Savings Time' message was clearly top of mind when it was created in 1995 to support the company's then hard-driving savings story."

    Lenkevich said the revived program today is "even more important to our customers and to our employees, who along with Farmer Jack Supermarkets, have deep roots in our southeastern Michigan communities. We are proud to drive home this message and to return to a continuing mission of saving people money with 'It's Always Savings Time at Farmer Jack.'"

    As an important component of the "Savings Time" campaign, on April 1 Farmer Jack announced the return of the company's popular Bonus Savings Card (BSC). In addition to offering special features like price-focused family-sized "Jack Packs" in targeted merchandise categories, the card will also provide customers with the tools to maximize their savings at Farmer Jack stores.

    "If first response is any indication of consumer reaction to the reintroduction of the BSC card, we are very encouraged," noted Lenkevich. "We are now welcoming over half a million new card holders to the Farmer Jack family and building our numbers each week." Citing recent research that finds many Michigan shoppers still favorably recalling the "Savings Time" jingle, Lenkevich said the tune is one of the most recognizable "theme songs" in local market advertising history.

    Noting that Farmer Jack has seen both strong sales and challenging times in recent years, Lenkevich said the many difficult decisions the chain initiated -- including closing unprofitable stores, reducing capital spending, and asking loyal union associates for and receiving wage concessions that will be restored over the next few years -- have been instrumental in keeping the majority of Farmer Jack stores open and profitable.

    The United Food & Commercial Workers Local 876 issued a statement in support of the chain's efforts to maintain the current profitability momentum with the relaunch of the price-cutting strategy program.

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