Giant Eagle says price 'lock' played well in bumpy economy

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Giant Eagle's promotion promising to "lock" prices on certain items -- first introduced last October -- has resonated with consumers enough that the O'Hara grocer plans to try another round.

The company today said it will guarantee that prices on certain items won't change at least until spring, although this time around the grocer isn't giving a specific cut-off date. The first promotion was officially set to end Jan. 2.

Giant Eagle launched the price lock program with the idea that it would see how customers responded, said Rob Borella, senior director of corporate communications.

He said it quickly became clear that shoppers liked being able to budget better, knowing that prices on certain staples and seasonal items would hold. As the new year begins, Mr. Borella noted, the nation's economy continues to face uncertainty, with fuel prices fluctuating and politicians continuing to debate fiscal policy.

He said the new campaign marks a "multi-million dollar investment" by the grocer.

Other supermarkets around the country have used similar programs for the past several years as they compete with a growing number of discount chains like Wal-Mart and Target, limited assortment stores such as Bottom Dollar, Aldi and Save-A-Lot, dollar stores, warehouse clubs and even drugstores.

In November, Giant Eagle also introduced its own low-price, limited assortment chain to the Pittsburgh market, with its Good Cents Grocery + More location on McKnight Road in Ross.

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Teresa F. Lindeman: tlindeman@post-gazette.com or at 412-263-2018. First Published January 9, 2013 12:45 AM


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