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The Boston Herald reports that Stop & Shop is using a pair of actual shoppers – one from New York, one from New Jersey - in its new reality-based advertising campaign designed to bolster the value messages it has been promoting over the past year.

“Stop & Shop’s value improvement program was announced last year after its parent company, Amsterdam-based Ahold, experienced an 85 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit and Stop & Shop sales increased just 0.5 percent,” the Herald rites. “Ahold identified a ‘price perception issue’ and started cutting Stop & Shop prices by product categories. As of tomorrow, when prices will be lowered on 1,500 ‘meal maker’ products, Stop & Shop will be halfway through the initiative.”

However, while the company has said it is satisfied with the results thus far, the numbers say something different. “First-half, same-store sales at Stop & Shop … were up only 0.7 percent from the prior year - 0.2 percent when gas sales were excluded.”
KC's View:
If the folks at Stop & Shop say that they are satisfied with the campaign and its results to this point, I’m prepared to take them at their word.

However, I have to say that as a consumer who sees these ads frequently on TV and who has a couple of Stop & Shops within a few miles of my house (one of them admittedly one of the worst stores in the company’s fleet), I’ve been wholly unimpressed by them. I think the premise and execution are generally uninspired, and I’m not sure that they offer a compelling reason to pass by other stores and make Stop & Shop the primary food shopping destination.

Sure, they’re hyping prices – but when I have to pass both a Costco and a Wal-Mart on the way to Stop & Shop, I’m not sure I’m buying that Stop & Shop has the best consistent value. Besides, anybody can beat anybody on price…what Stop & Shop fails to do is offer other compelling and differentiating reasons to shop there.