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    New Low-Price Plan at Giant Eagle Focuses on Popular Items

    PITTSBURGH ¿ Even if the Pittsburgh Steelers are defeated by their cross-state NFL rivals the Philadelphia Eagles this weekend, Steel City residents could still walk away winners as a result of a new price reduction strategy rolled out by the market leading supermarket chain Giant Eagle.

    PITTSBURGH – Even if the Pittsburgh Steelers are defeated by their cross-state NFL rivals the Philadelphia Eagles this weekend, Steel City residents could still walk away winners as a result of a new price reduction strategy rolled out by the market leading supermarket chain Giant Eagle.

    The new strategy, launched yesterday at all 221 Giant Eagle stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio, aims to lower prices on what the chain terms as “thousands of items customers purchase most frequently,” as part of the chain calls an ongoing effort to streamline its operations and pass the savings on to customers.

    Giant Eagle spokesman Rob Borella told Progressive Grocer: "As a company, we are committed to identifying and reducing unnecessary costs in a variety of operational areas, including but not limited to vendor program fulfillment, streamlining supply chain activities, indirect spend associated with office supplies and equipment, and more efficient warehouse management processes."

    Commenting on which items would be involved in the price reduction, Borella says the chain took into account customer feedback and purchase behavior to identify the product categories and items that are purchased most frequently, based "on an amalgamation of insights from a number of customer service tools we utilize on an ongoing basis," including quarterly telephone surveys and periodic focus groups.

    Calling the new initiative a "best of both worlds strategy" that combines quality food, value and low everyday low prices, Borella nonetheless emphasized that Giant Eagle plans to continue its existing weekly specials, double coupons, seasonal and holiday offers; as well as loyalty-based Giant Eagle Advantage Card promotions including a rapidly expanding fuelperks! program.

    Borella said research showed that while shoppers were crediting Giant Eagle "for high-quality weekly and seasonal specials, and loyalty-based promotions, our customers are increasingly seeking everyday values" of the type that are being heavily emphasized by the nation's leading value-oriented retailers such as Wal-Mart, Sav-A-Lot and Aldi, all of which are increasing their presence in the Steel City.

    Borella said while the average customer's savings will depend upon individual purchases, the cumulative result of the reductions will be Giant Eagle customers saving approximately $35 million annually.

    The lower everyday prices will have an impact on a variety of national and Giant Eagle brand grocery, dairy and frozen food items, including cereal, cheese, yogurt, condiments, sauces, soups, coffee and tea, frozen meals and vegetables, paper products, detergents, baby food and diapers, and pet care. Giant Eagle shopper will be able to note the savings from former prices on "New Lower Prices" tags, which will be located throughout the supermarket.

    The new lower everyday price initiative comes on the heels of the chain’s introduction of new store brand program, the Valu Time product line of 200-plus competitively priced items.

    Giant Eagle sent letters to select Advantage cardholders to introduce the new pricing plan, undersigned by the chain’s chairman and c.e.o. David Shapira. The chain informed most consumers of the move, however, in its weekly circular.

    --Meg Major

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