Patti LaBelle Sweet Potato Pies…At Rite Aid?

If only you knew

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Checkout line display at a Rite Aid in Brooklyn, NY

Nice Try, Rite Aid. Looks like they’re trying to capitalize on all the attention being paid to the Patti LaBelle sweet potato pies being sold exclusively at WalMart.

After singer James Wright’s very charismatic review of Patti LaBelle’s pies went viral, WalMart has been unable to keep Pattie’s pies on shelves. The pies retail for $3.29, but they’ve been spotted selling for as much as $12,000 on eBay (a quick search of completed listings shows the highest price paid to date is only $30)

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Actual Patti LaBelle Sweet Potato Pie

Even though it is an obvious “me too”, I like Rite Aid’s product and merchandising strategies.

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Rite Aid’s featured Sweet Potato Pie

Here’s what I like:

1. Timeliness

Thanks to¬† James Wright, this holiday season will see unprecedented sales of prepackaged sweet potato pies. Everyone wants Patti LaBelle’s, but the availability issues at Walmart mean that the many whose sweet teeth have been awakened will have to settle for an alternative brand.

Settling may be anathema to some, but it will definitely be the course of action for a significant many. Rite Aid is prepared for the settlers

2. Merchandising Strategy

The pies are placed within reach of all shoppers in the checkout line. Lots of people have sweet potato pie on the brain and Rite Aid has put them in a place to drive impulse purchases.

Rite Aid generally places their prepackaged sweets in the front of the store near the checkout line, but these pies are within the reach of everyone who checks out. Nothing earth-shattering, but it is nonetheless a smart strategy to drive sales in a hot category.

3. Location

There aren’t any Walmarts in New York City. If New Yorkers want a Patti LaBelle sweet potato pie, they will either have to cross the Hudson river to New Jersey (and pay a $14 toll to get back in the city) or venture east out to Long Island. The settlers of New York City need to buy their prepackaged sweet potato pie somewhere. Rite Aid is making it really easy for them.

Full Disclosure – the author of this article does not like sweet potato pie.

Until Next Time