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NEW STANTON, Pa. - Intent on besting its competitors with a more timely weekly sales strategy, Supervalu's Shop 'n Save ad group based here is breaking with tradition by debuting its featured specials on Saturdays instead of Sundays.
Shop 'n Save's weekly sales now start one day before its major regional competitors, including market leader Giant Eagle.
With both of the region's major newspapers making their Sunday editions -- featuring discount shopping coupon inserts -- available on Saturdays and sometimes even on Fridays, a spokesman said Shop 'n Save wanted to be the first in the marketplace to make it more convenient for consumers.
Moving sales a day earlier should also allow Shop 'n Save to capture a higher percentage of shoppers. Saturday is the busiest day of the week for most supermarkets, with 22 percent of weekly shoppers hitting the stores, according to the latest data from Progressive Grocer's Annual Report of the Grocery Industry.
Commercials touting the change hit the local airwaves three days in advance of the Aug. 14 start date for the 80 corporate and independently owned Shop 'n Save supermarkets located throughout Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio, and West Virginia.
The "Save Sooner" campaign, designed to be as entertaining as it is effective, revolves around the theme that "gratification delayed is gratification denied."
In the "Fixed Horse Race" spot, shoppers line up with their carts as if to start a horse race. But only one shopper's gate opens, with the rest left standing, with the message: "Only Shop 'n Save starts their sales Saturdays."
In the "Granny" spot, a kindly looking old woman asks a young boy on a park bench if he would like an ice cream cone. After the boy exclaims, "Sure!" Granny tells him, "Well, you can't have it. No, no, no, no. Not until Sunday."
-- Meg Major