November 14, 2014
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Store #708 in Spring Hill, FL, won the pumpkin display contest with this “hear me roar” pumpkin display incorporating bakery, floral, produce and grocery departments.​

As our stores begin to focus on gaining holiday sales, one regional sales manager says a great sales practice to consider is the art of theater.

“Food is about romance – it’s about a story,” said David Dawson, bakery regional sales manager in the Tampa market. “If you can tell the story about food and get someone emotionally attached then it’s a win.”

Dawson encourages store associates to offer customers samples of new products and to build displays that incorporate multiple departments.

He also sometimes creates contests as motivation for stores associates to achieve excellence through competition. A recent pumpkin display contest required stores to get creative, incorporate four different departments and generate a lift in sales. Each store fought for a $25 gift card and a pizza party, but the most notable reward for the store team was the pride and recognition.

“It’s not just about bakery,” Dawson said of his display contests. “It’s about total store sales.”

The contests also result in product display best practices that Dawson shares with all region stores. He encourages cross marketing in almost all of his initiatives, but his main sales tactic is sampling to create a lasting impression on the customer.

“Typically someone doesn’t put chocolate cake on their grocery list,” said Dawson. “You have to get them while they’re in the store.”

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David Dawson, bakery regional sales manager in the Tampa market showed a PowerPoint presentation featuring Tampa Winn-Dixie stores highlighting the best peach displays.

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Dawson adds humor to his bakery holiday meeting while sharing sales goals and merchandising tactics with his Tampa bakery team.

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Cross merchandising in an apple display. “I like it to all tie together,” said Dawson. “If it’s apple pie, I want to see apples from produce and Redd’s Apple Ale.”

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