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    Wegmans Boosting Holiday GM Values

    Savings abound on such seasonal items as housewares, ornaments, candles, toys, and greeting cards.

    Taking cues from the winter holiday items consumers were buying in 2007, Wegmans decided to broaden its 2008 holiday season selection to include more affordable choices.

    The grocer also listened to customer feedback about the timing of holiday displays, such as artificial Christmas trees, which customers asked to be delayed. Consequently, the Christmas tree display this year didn't go up until mid-October, compared with Oct. 1 last year.

    Although this placed Wegmans at a slight disadvantage vs. competing retailers, the company said it is sure it did the right thing for its shoppers. "It's what customers expect from Wegmans," noted director of media relations Jo Natale.

    Holiday values this year include a seven-foot artificial tree with 550 lights and 1,285 branch tips for $99; sautE sets that retail at $19.99 for two, and $29.99 for a three-pack; Two tapered candles for 99 cents, or a jarred candle for $4.99; 12 shatterproof Christmas tree ornaments for $4.99; dozens of housewares with holiday motifs including Santa, holly wreaths, or poinsettias, priced from $9.99 to $19.99; dolls, games and puzzles for $9.99 or less; holiday greeting cards selling for 60 percent to 70 percent below suggested retail; and specialty cards such as Metropolitan Museum of Art cards for 25 percent off the suggested retail price.

    Additionally, from now until the close of the year, many items associated with the holidays will feature extra savings, and signs on shelves will flag the discounts. Examples include a box of four glasses, usually priced at $16, now offered at $9.99; 20 percent off Hanukkah serving dishes, now priced from $4.99 to $11.99; a box of four Wegmans brand stemware pieces, made in Austria, normally priced at $32, now selling for $19.99; up to 40 percent off kitchen textiles, wooden bowls and serving pieces, and 20 percent off Wegmans signature white ware dishes and serving pieces.

    Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans operates 71 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland.

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