You may have seen the ads on TV this weekend (if you still watch TV) featuring Galen Weston Jr., the pitchman for the Loblaw chain of grocery stores.
Pictured: Loblaw new smart phone flyer
In the ad Weston plays his usual role of meeting with individual store customers to let them know about the company’s latest innovation, product or service.
In this case the pitch is for the company’s new smart-phone loyalty program which analysts say is designed to “Target customers based on their purchase histories, offering discounts on items they buy often and deeper discounts on products they might be interested in, but need some incentive to try,” according to an article in the Saturday Star.
Loblaw is attempting to deal with deep discounting from retailers such as Wal Mart and Target and trying to follow the market share gains made by Safeway using a similar program according to Francine Kopun, Business reporter for The Star.
Uwe Stueckmann, senior vice-president, marketing, for Loblaw Companies Limited, and Loblaw Cos. president Vicente Trius, told the Star that decades-old supermarket flyer, distributed primarily through the door-to-door delivery business of local newspapers, “… is probably on the way out.”
Ever since the national and regional provincial newspaper and printing chains bought up the independent community newspapers and turned them into flyer delivery vehicles, those same newspapers have lost the revenue they used to rely on from circulation.
With the drastic declines in newspaper readership and the swapping of newspapers in the Lower Mainland between Black Press and Glacier Media, it is not known whether the declines in national and regional advertising, combined with a drop in readership and the possible loss of flyer revenues will allow the old business model of the newspapers to survive.