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4 ways to run a successful promotion


Check out this video, which features Roland Park, owner of IDA Milk and Variety, and learn how he profits from in-store displays and promotions. Video by Brandon Gray.

At the junction of Highway 83 and Provincial Road 257 in Virden, Man. is a c-store, car wash and petroleum site called White Owl Convenience. Wayne Rudneski, who owns three White Owl locations with his brother, has been in the c-retail business since the 1970s. This retailer is known to spend 15 hours in his store every day – dedication which he believes gives him an advantage over his competitors.

“I know what people are looking for. I know how to market it, where to set up the displays, and the impulses that people have,” he says. He uses this knowledge to execute successful in-store promotions that build basket size and in-store excitement.

When setting up a display, the first thing Rudneski does is ensure the location is right. “We run our store shelving on an angle in front of the cash area, and we set up the displays right at the end and point them towards the till,” he says.

He knows that most of his customers will pass by the pre-pack on their way to the cold vault.“When customers see the promotions, you can see the hesitation as they go past. You can see it drawing them in,” he says.

But location alone isn’t enough. Rudneski also knows that it’s important to draw customers in with a deal they can’t refuse.

“We usually offer two-for pricing,” he says. He recommends two-for-$1.99 or two-for-$2.25, for example. “Whatever works out to an even amount is good. It’s great if you can offer two-for-$2.23, which works out to an even $2.50 with tax,” he explains.

To help him succeed, Rudneski uses Promo Select, a program available through his full-service distributor that gives him access to confectionery and snack deals that align with consumer promotions from top suppliers. “The program is beneficial because point-of-purchase materials come with it, and the items that people look for are there. People look for the top sellers as well as the innovation,” he says.

To ensure he’s got the latest offer on top-selling SKUs, Rudneski communicates often with his sales reps. “I think that gives me an advantage because I know about the sales and promotions going on. You have to know your reps and you have to deal with them on a regular basis,” he says.

Above all, he adds, it’s important to make the promotion attractive to your customers, so you need to know what they’re looking for. Simple advice from an experienced retailer!

Here are Rudneski’s top four tips for running a successful promotion:

Find the best location. Ensure displays are in a prominent spot that will catch your customers’ attention.

Price it right. Make the deal attractive to customers so they’ll feel they’re getting good value.

Keep it simple. Make sure promotions are organized and aren’t overcrowding the store.

Freshen up. Ensure the deal is new and exciting by rotating the products on special.