Beyond the flyer: The evolution of customer communications

Sobeys Inc. customized communications tools better meet today's customers' need for information

MISSISSAUGA, ON, June 16 /CNW/ - From direct mail to magazines to Facebook, Sobeys is changing the way it communicates with consumers. Canadians are looking to both retailers and each other for inspiration and advice on how to make balanced food choices, while juggling busy schedules and without having to compromise quality.

"We recognize that our customers' needs are evolving in not only the type of information they want to receive, but also in the manner in which they choose to engage with our stores," said Belinda Youngs, chief marketing officer for Sobeys Inc. "We need to be available for them wherever they are, with everything they need to help them make good food choices as easily as possible."

While the weekly flyer continues to be popular for hot deals, Sobeys Inc. is embracing other more educational and interactive vehicles to engage its customers.

The flagship of Sobeys added-value offering is its quarterly publication, Inspired, a 48-page, full-bind food lifestyle magazine. Inspired features recipes, articles on entertaining and tips for easy meals - bringing ideas, information and education to the consumer looking for everyday inspiration.

"Inspired helps today's home cook get the most from fresh options, while keeping ingredient lists manageable and prep and cooking time to a minimum," says Samantha Shepherd, editor of Inspired Magazine. "In addition, all the recipes are reviewed by Sobeys' team of dieticians to help shoppers make good food easy!"

For the customer who likes to receive and share information online, Sobeys' Facebook page offers opportunities to share tips, techniques and recipes with other Sobeys shoppers.

In addition, the Club Sobeys and AIR MILES(TM) rewards programs send highly customized and relevant offers to members, providing them with more tailored offerings, both in terms of products and savings.

"The old 'ready, fire, aim' of grocery chain marketing communications is finally being replaced with a more focused approach to the contemporary needs of their customers," says Dr. Alan Middleton, marketing professor, Schulich School of Business. "In a wired world, accessible, understandable, motivating, and more complete information that can be shared by individuals and their friendship networks is the way forward to not only improve shopping visits, but most importantly, banner loyalty."

Inspired magazine is available in-store, by mail directly to consumers and online at The website offers visitors features such as "Tempting Tastes" and "Find Your Inspiration," easy recipes, tools for everyday food shopping, consumer reviews of Compliments products and a feedback function where visitors can review and rate Compliments products and online recipes.

For more information please visit or become a fan of Sobeys on Facebook at

About Sobeys Inc.

Sobeys Inc. is a leading national grocery retailer and food distributor headquartered in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited (TSX:EMP.A), Sobeys owns or franchises more than 1,300 stores in all 10 provinces under retail banners that include Sobeys, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, Price Chopper and Thrifty Foods, as well as Lawtons Drug Stores. Sobeys Inc. is committed to providing the most worthwhile experience for its customers, employees, franchisees, suppliers and shareholders. More information on Sobeys Inc. can be found at

SOURCE Sobeys Inc.

For further information: For further information: Media contact: Janessa Bishop, Fleishman Hillard, 416-598-5774,

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