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The Tampa Tribune reports that Delhaize-owned Sweetbay Supermarkets in western Florida increasingly is “turning up the volume” on its marketing, advertising its everyday low prices and comparing them to the specials offered at competitors such as Publix and Winn-Dixie.

"BOGO deals may cost less every once in a while," Geoff Waldau, vice president of merchandizing for Sweetbay, tells 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."

According to the paper, “the difference between those strategies plays out over time. The Tampa Tribune's Market Basket tracks 30 specific items each week. Over the last 42 weeks, Sweetbay's prices stay relatively stable, and total between $65 and $74, while Publix's total varies widely between $65 and $82, but generally above $74. (The Publix total does not count a BOGO item as half off because buying one item still costs the full price.)”

The story goes on, “For Sweetbay, the risks of such a provocative campaign resemble those of the little guy picking on the market dominator. Sweetbay has just 104 stores, compared to Publix with more than 1,000 nationwide.

“Meanwhile, Publix is consolidating that dominance with the purchase of about a dozen Albertsons stores in the area. And both Target and the retail giant Walmart are quickly expanding their grocery departments to edge more into the food business ... Sweetbay may have an uphill battle convincing those shoppers that Sweetbay offers lower prices over time. But if Sweetbay is going to stick with relatively long, stable prices, they'll have to advertise them as heavily as possible. As for success of the new campaign, Sweetbay officials decline to say how much it's boosting revenue, if any. But they do say it's doing well enough to keep the project going.”
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