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    Kroger to Join In-store Trial of Portable People Meter

    CINCINNATI -- Kroger here plans to enroll 100 of its stores in the Houston area in the market trial of the Arbitron Portable People Meter (PPM) system, which is designed to track how effective in-store audio programming is at reaching shoppers.

    CINCINNATI -- Kroger here plans to enroll 100 of its stores in the Houston area in the market trial of the Arbitron Portable People Meter (PPM) system, which is designed to track how effective in-store audio programming is at reaching shoppers.

    In the trial, slated to begin next month, the chain's stores will employ audio programming from In-Store Broadcasting Network, which already provides an in-store music service and broadcast advertising network for Kroger in Houston. This programming will be embedded with unique PPM identification codes, supplied by Arbitron. When a consumer who is also an Arbitron PPM survey participant enters one of the stores, the PPM will detect the codes and report that the individual has been exposed to the in-store audio programming.

    "By adding PPM codes to Kroger's in-store audio in Houston, we'll be able to demonstrate how the PPM can gauge the store traffic that advertising generates," said Pierre Bouvard, president, Portable People Meters, Arbitron Inc. "Without asking the PPM survey participant to do anything additional, we would be able to measure the retail visits as easily as we measure the audience that is exposed to the stations that carry the advertising for the retailer. This will enable PPM to provide powerful measures of return on investment and accountability, by correlating local media exposure with retail store traffic."

    According to Scarborough Research, over the course of a typical week Kroger stores are visited by at least 51 percent of the adult population in Houston.

    The other chains in the Houston trial are Best Buy, Gap, Gallery Furniture, National CineMedia, and Old Navy.

    The Arbitron Portable People Meter (PPM) system uses a passive audience measurement device -- about the size of a small cell phone -- to track consumer exposure to media and entertainment, including broadcast, cable and satellite television; terrestrial, satellite and online radio as well as cinema advertising and many types of place-based electronic media. Carried throughout the day by randomly selected survey participants, the PPM device can track when and where they watch television, listen to radio as well as how they interact with other forms of media and entertainment.

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