Phar-Mor unveils new marketing thrust

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio –Phar-Mor has begun previewing a new marketing and advertising program for its store managers in Chicago; Tampa, Fla.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Youngstown. The program, which was presented to Phar-Mor managers by top company execs, is largely built around the chain’s pharmacy and home entertainment departments.

Both those categories have been tagged as integral to Phar-Mor’s future, according to chain president and chief operating officer David Schwartz. “These two areas are responsible for an enormous amount of foot traffic in our stores every day,” he said. “Our studies show that by positively impacting customer counts in these departments, we will stimulate incremental sales throughout the stores.”

On the pharmacy side, Phar-Mor has launched a chainwide TV, radio and print ad campaign beginning in June. The campaign, created by Yaffee & Co., the chain’s recently appointed ad agency, will focus on the chain’s low prescription prices.

Phar-Mor’s video and music departments are the focus of a new ad and giveaway program “to create new drama and excitement within the department,” said Rich Juliano, senior vice president of merchandising.

The campaign included the offer of a so-called Freebie Card to all customers chainwide, entitling them to a free video after 12 rentals. Plans to promote Phar-Mor’s everyday low rental prices are also on tap this summer, as are some studio-specific promotions tied to upcoming releases.

Videotape and music sales in Phar-Mor stores will also get new, customized ad support this summer, Juliano said. “It is the latest recording, the latest release that drives traffic. We have an opportunity to increase our business just by increasing awareness of Phar-Mor’s selection and prices.”

The road show to store managers by Phar-Mor’s top executives included chief executive Tony Alvarez, Schwarz, Juliano, vice president of pharmacy Bob McCurdy, vice presidents of operations George Puskar and Warren Jeffrey, and Lori Porter, general manager of music and video.

“We felt it was important to meet with every member of our field team because they are ultimately responsible for the shopping experience, said Schwartz. “As we solidify our position in the mass media, we want to be sure customers coming into the stores have their expectations met or exceeded.”

COPYRIGHT 1993 Reproduced with permission of the copyright holder. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

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