Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has pledged to triple its games-related ad spend in an attempt to drive hardware sales this Christmas.
Speaking during the firm’s entertainment conference last week, games manager Gurdeep Hunjan revealed Sainsbury’s games strategy for Christmas 2009 and beyond – which it believes will help it claim five per cent of the UK market. Marketing will feature in specialist and women’s magazines, direct mail outs, national press, as well as money-off vouchers, and tie-ins with publishers.
He said: “We will have a much better Christmas, simply because we can go big and have less concerns on stock.
“Our plans are to have the biggest launches on product at Sainsbury’s in history – and drive hardware and accessories harder than ever. We will be supporting this with two to three times more marketing investment year-on-year.
“Selling hardware is very important to us, it drives loyalty and it drives repeat purchases. About 25 per cent of our customers buy software from us three months after buying hardware.
“From a hardware and accessories perspective, the business at board level recognises hardware as the gift for Christmas 2009. We have agreed that hardware will be the No.1 priority in non-food space at corporate level in the run-up to Christmas. This will be massive. This means we will have a pallet at the front of store in over 300 sites, we’ll have full corporate level POS, including car park banners. We will have national press advertising and hopefully a Sainsbury’s TV advert.
“We may even get Jamie Oliver singing on the next SingStar commercial.”
Sainsbury’s was one of several retailers severely affected by the collapse of EUK last year, and like its rival Asda, the firm has bolstered its buying team.
The company has also raised £445 million for new floorspace, half of which will be dedicated to non-food items. The grocer’s games departments is set to improve with more in-store screens, major new game launches, promotions placed outside of its non-food areas and format branding.
“Our aspiration is to be five per cent of the market in around 18 to 24 months,” added Hunjan. “We are not in it for the short-term.
“Our objective is to build a long-term profitable games business by working closely with suppliers to drive a targeted offering for our entertainment customers.”