Putting Out the Welcome Mat for ShopRite

When ShopRite opened stores throughout New York City and State, they received anything but a warm welcome. Incumbent grocery stores in these communities, threatened by the competition, put up a fight. They organized “community groups” and used them to attack ShopRite for a host of imagined problems that they would supposedly usher in: traffic, pollution, crime, and more. In response, Rosica developed a grassroots community relations campaign that brought ShopRite’s positive stories to local residents, elected officials, and the press. We promoted the company’s charitable giving and in-store events – and publicized job creation and neighborhood beautification that would result from their new store location. They selected Rosica as the group’s strategic communications partner to protect and promote their interest – and their brand name. A centerpiece was unveiling 3D before and after renderings of the proposed construction sites. This attracted print and broadcast media in multiple geographies. We aided with several food safety issues, promoted new hires and employee milestones, and promoted recipes and community services the caring supermarket chain offered. Rosica’s cause marketing partnership with a local hospice organization helped shape public perception and build advocates that supported ShopRite’s goals. We secured millions of media impressions through in-store events and human-interest stories (shoppers and employees), and by placing op-eds. Ultimately, the opposition backed down when residents saw that ShopRite would be a welcome neighbor.