Sweetbay: We’re Cheaper Than Publix
Sweetbay has an uphill battle going up against Publix in
Florida but it’s looking to gain an edge with a new ad campaign that sends
a straightforward message: its prices on like items are lower on a day-in and
The Delhaize-owned chain is using a list of more than 700 products
to point out where it has the price advantage. According to a Tampa Tribune report,
60 items chosen by Sweetbay totaled $172.50 if
bought in its stores. The same items at Publix were said to cost $196.71 and
$204.29 at Winn-Dixie.
Sweetbay is relying on an everyday pricing approach to battle
the impression shoppers get from the deep
deals offered at competitors’ stores.
"BOGO deals may cost less every once in a while," Geoff Waldau,
vice president of merchandizing for Sweetbay Supermarkets, told the Tribune. "But
we’re saying that if customers shop with us over time, they’ll save week-in,
week-out on the things they actually want to buy."
One of the strengths
of Sweetbay’s approach is that it is does not have the lowest price on all
items all the time. Ads have pointed out where Publix was cheaper on snack
items and paper goods.
Publix, for its part, doesn’t support Sweetbay’s comparison
as being fair. It points out that its rival may be "cherry picking" items
to show an advantage. Chain officials point out that stores may have over 60,000
items so comparing 700 is just a fraction of the whole.
Shannon Patten, a spokesperson
for Publix, told the Tribune that customers "find
great value in our weekly sales, get excited about our BOGO items and genuinely
appreciate saving money on the items they use most."
Bob Goldin, executive
vice president at Technomic, said of the Sweetbay campaign, "The
consumer is so very price conscious now, I think they have to do it."
Discussion Question: What do you think of Sweetbay’s approach to gaining market
share in Florida?
[Editor’s Note] The Tampa Tribune article points out that Wal-Mart,
a growing factor in the Florida grocery market, is not included in Sweetbay’s