Are mid-week circulars better for supermarkets?
Kroger announced last week it was planning to standardize the release of its weekly ads online and across all its stores on Wednesdays. With the move, the chain apparently joins a quiet trend in the supermarket industry.
Previously, Kroger’s weekly sales may have started on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the city, according to couponsinthenews.com. Safeway and Albertsons also start their sales cycles on Wednesday. Publix’s starts on Thursday
With the shift, effective Mar. 5, Kroger’s store associates can reset stores on a quieter Tuesday rather than Saturday, the busiest shopping day of the week. Shoppers also gain more time to plan their weekend shopping trips and take advantage of discounts before the weekend. The specials will run from Wednesday through the following Tuesday.
"By allowing our customers to purchase items before the busy weekend, we hope to help them save money and time," said Glynn Jenkins, director of communications and public relations for Kroger’s Atlanta Division, in a statement received by the Atlanta Business Journal.
Schnucks supermarkets likewise last year moved to standardize its circular delivery to Wednesday, partly because it wanted to make the drops consistent in all markets. Resets would also previously take place on the weekend. In the St. Louis area, the ad cycle had started on Monday.
"Our thought is our concentration should be on serving customers when they shop on Saturday and Sunday," a Schnucks spokesperson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch at the time.
The downside of the mid-day shift is that circulars in some markets aren’t hitting mailboxes when competitors are arriving. Sunday circulation also can be two to three times that of mid-week papers, although some grocers such as Publix are sending out the same circular mailer both mid-week and on Sunday. For some shoppers, the mid-week circular disturbs the routine of leisurely reading the Sunday circular.
Mid-week sales cycles aren’t yet pervasive. In New York City, only relative newbies Whole Foods and Aldi start their sales cycle on Wednesday. Key Food, Pathmark, Associated Supermarkets, Gristedes and C-Town all start on Friday. Fine Foods and Met Foods start on Sunday.
- Kroger to release weekly ads on Wednesday instead of Sunday – Atlanta Business Journal
- What’s with Schnucks moving ads to Wednesday? – St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- Schnucks weekly circular moving to Wednesdays from Sundays – Southeast Missourian
- Nation’s Largest Supermarket Shakes Up Shoppers’ Routines – couponinthenews.com
What do you think is the best day for grocers to begin their weekly ad cycle? Why does it apparently differ in different areas for even some national grocers?