The world we lived in when Boise, Idaho-based grocery giant Albertsons Cos. kicked off its evergreen Monopoly program on Feb. 5 looked very different from the one we found ourselves in on May 5, the final day of the collect-and-win game’s promotional period. This Store Spotlight visits the aisles of a few Albertsons-owned stores in the U.S. and highlights some of this year’s main CPG partners and P-O-P materials.
Albertsons operates more than 2,200 supermarkets under 20 banners – including Vons, Jewel-Osco, Safeway, Acme and its namesake – across 34 states and Washington, D.C. The Monopoly program is one of the retailer’s biggest, most engaging events of the year, intended to create a holiday where one doesn’t already exist while driving sales.
This year’s Monopoly prize pool was valued at $250 million and included two $100,000 boats, 20 $5,000 vacations and one $1 million instant-win game ticket (new this year). As usual, tickets were awarded at checkout for in-store purchases of specially tagged products from participating manufacturers. Each ticket contained two markers (i.e., properties) for the physical game board, plus either a discount coupon, an instant-win prize, a coupon for two free game tickets or a “Shop, Play, Win!” digital code.
- This year, Albertsons included more fresh goods in the game, such as select meats and baked goods. Near the bakery section, some stores deployed an account-specific table display merchandising packages of Little Bites, Thomas’ and Entenmann’s from Bimbo Bakeries.
- Albertsons also again partnered with Little Rock, Arkansas-based Vestcom, which provides thousands of customized shelf tags per store to highlight participating items. This year, many of the shelf tags were not deployed due to pandemic-driven inventory issues. Some tags were still deployed, however, like the ones depicted here for Mars Inc.’s Uncle Ben’s (which were bonus ticket items) at a Jewel-Osco in Chicago in March.
- Albertsons again delivered total shopper awareness with in-store support that included account-specific displays in addition to the retailer’s own custom P-O-P materials. Though the activation varied across stores, some sort of Monopoly spectacular greeted shoppers near all entrances. The entryway to this Albertsons in Orange County, California, paired a cluster of floorstands from Campbell Soup Co. snack brands resembling classic Monopoly property pieces with case stacks of Nestle’s Perrier outfitted with game-themed price headers.
- Program-specific floorstands and aisle displays from CPG partners were plentiful. Floorstands from PepsiCo for beverage brands including Bubly, Mountain Dew and Bolt 24 were positioned in various locations, including next to this permanent PepsiCo endcap at a Shaw’s in Bangor, Maine.
- Other key CPG partners included Coca-Cola Co., Kraft Heinz, Mondelez International and Talking Rain’s Sparkling Ice, a frequent collaborator that enjoyed secondary merchandising space for individual SKUs in large dump bins outfitted in dedicated signage and positioned along the back aisle of the store. Sparkling Ice packages were also stocked on a shelf under the dump bin.
- In addition to custom displays (positioned here near the snack aisle), Mondelez International’s Nabisco hosted a special offer dangling a bonus ticket with purchase of three select SKUs.
- In-store support included periodically updated standees of “Mr. Monopoly” that doled out game boards near exits, multiple themed ceiling signs hanging throughout stores, a multi-brand floorstand stocking personal care and OTC SKUs in the pharmacy department, American Greetings shelf talkers in the card aisle dangling bonus tickets, aisle violators and various other displays and signs.
Keurig’s Dr Pepper’s Bai beverage brand added a promotional twist, affixing tear-off manufacturer coupons to a Monopoly-themed floorstand stocking multiple flavors.