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GIANT Food seeks to make stores kid-friendly

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CARLISLE, Pa. – GIANT Food Stores is striving to make its stores more appealing to parents by making them more entertaining for children.

The retailer on Thursday introduced a new kid-friendly augmented reality experience in 15 stores in the Harrisburg, Pa., market. And the day before, GIANT opened new Berenstain Bears themed play areas for children in a handful of stores.

The augmented reality experience takes the form of an interactive game called GIANT’S Snowflake Search, which is designed to engage and entertain children during their visit to the grocery store. Parents also benefit, beyond keeping their children occupied, since the game gives customers the chance to earn up to 300 GIANT Choice Rewards points per game, or as many as 1,500 points in five games before the promotion ends on January 30.

GIANTGIANT’S Snowflake Search, developed with the Irvine, Calif.-based media and creative agency Schiefer Chopshop, is believed to be the first web-based application of augmented reality in this capacity by an American grocer, the retailer said. While other companies are using AR to provide information about their products, GIANT said it is using the technology to make the shopping experience more fun.

“As a parent, I know firsthand how challenging a trip to the grocery store can be with young children, especially during the holiday season,” said Kimberly Mack, manager of digital strategy and media, GIANT Food Stores. “Our Snowflake Search game delivers on our commitment to innovation and our promise to the families we serve by making the weekly task of grocery shopping a bit more fun for our younger customers and a bit easier for mom and dad, too.”

To play, customers simply scan a QR code on special in-store signage with their smartphones. They then get an audio introduction by a snowman character, who directs them to search for six unique snowflake signs throughout the store. Each snowflake sign reveals a new interactive character on their phone, like a polar bear juggling clementines and bananas in the fruit section. Customers can track the characters they’ve already found and get hints to find the remaining ones.

“At GIANT, we’re always looking for ways to deepen our relationships with our customers as well as ways to create an exciting and unique shopping experience inside our stores,” Mack said. “By incorporating GIANT Choice Rewards into our Snowflake Search experience, we’re able to provide our digitally engaged customers with a fun and easy way to earn valuable rewards, which we think will be especially appreciated during the holiday season.”

The new activity available at 15 GIANT stores across greater Harrisburg, Pa.

GIANT also kicked off a new partnership with the iconic Berenstain Bears franchise by opening the Berenstain Bears Treehouse play area at its flagship store on Trindle Road in Camp Hill, Pa.

GIANTMike Berenstain, the second-generation author and illustrator of the Berenstain Bears series, joined GIANT president Nicholas Bertram at an unveiling ceremony at the store, where he hosted two readings for local children and signed autographs. Children who attended the event had the chance to make healthy bear-themed snacks, take photos with costumed Berenstain Bears characters, complete a treehouse activity and receive a free Berenstain Bears book.

“Simplifying the shopping experience for the busy families we serve, so they have time to focus on what matters most—each other—is a constant priority for our team,” Bertram said. “Since being introduced in 2005, our Treehouse space has been a safe and fun place for kids to be kids, one that parents can feel good about their kids being in as they shop, and that’s something we’re very proud to be able to offer families. A renowned Pennsylvania brand, The Berenstain Bears were a natural fit for us as we began to reimagine this space because for more than 50 years, they’ve helped create strong families and communities through their books.”

In 2020, GIANT plans to remodel the Treehouse childcare spaces at five additional stores into Berenstain Bears Treehouses. the company said.


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