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    Spartan Stores Rolls Out ‘MessageWrap’

    MI grocer uses checkout belt to connect with shoppers

    Checkout stands at 82 Family Fare, Glen’s Markets and VG’s stores in Michigan have become moving message boards with colorful, eye-catching graphics and messages printed on antimicrobial conveyor belt covers.

    It’s one of the newest ways in which supermarkets are reaching consumers with marketing and promotional messages in an effort to build loyalty and sales.

    Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Spartan Stores is working with hometown neighbor Handstand Innovations, owner of the patented MessageWrap product. Artwork for the checkstand belt covers is designed by Spartan and then sent to Handstand for printing and installation.

    Consumer messages have been designed to promote the grocer’s Price Freeze savings program, Yes Rewards Card program and pharmacy services awareness.

    MessageWrap allows complete customization of graphics and messages, and offers multiple marketing opportunities to engage consumers at checkout. Able to be installed in minutes, the belt material uses Good Armor anti-microbial coating for food safety and hygiene.

    MessageWrap was first deployed at Family Fare Kentwood for 60 days of testing, with successful results. Consumer research indicated that shoppers were aware of and interested in the belt graphics, so plans proceeded to install them at 82 store locations in January 2013.

    “MessageWrap is a breakthrough in shopper marketing, an innovative and effective way to engage shoppers at checkout while keeping the most widely used shopper surface area in the store, clean and safe to the touch,” said Susan Vanderploeg, founder of Handstand Innovations. “We are excited to help Spartan stores foster shopper loyalty and improve store operations."

    Spartan Stores Inc. distributes more than 40,000 private and national brand products to 375 independent grocery locations in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, and to 100 corporate owned stores located in Michigan, including Family Fare Supermarkets, Glen’s Markets, D&W Fresh Markets, VG’s Food and Pharmacy, and Valu Land.

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