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A remarkable advertising coup - Elf M. Sternberg
A remarkable advertising coup
About a year ago, Seattle put a plastic bag ban into effect. Stores could still sell you a plastic bag, but if you wanted to avoid the nickle price, you had to bring your own.

Quality Food Centers (QFC), one of the biggest grocery chains in the Greater Puget Sound Metropolitan Zone (an area encompassing Seattle, most of western King County and parts of Pierce and Snohomish Counties), immediately moved all of its durable bag distribution into its QFC branches inside the city limits of Seattle. For three months after the ban went into place, none of the QFCs outside of Seattle had any bags for sale.

Trader Joe's (TJ's) Groceries, which competes with QFC for mindshare in many of the suburb and exurb markets around Seattle, is a nationwide brand. Its durable bags are manufactured for a national market. When the bag ban went into effect, TJ's immediately saturated all of the Seattle suburb and exurb stores with durable bags and dropped the price to 25¢s-- a token cost.

Now, by an overwhelming margin, the durable bags seen at use in QFCs around the Puget Sound are Trader Joe's bags. Someone at TJ's deserves a medal for foreseeing, and moving to exploit, QFC's deployment issues.

Current Mood: amused amused

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