This article was found on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and was released on March 20, 2013. Giant Eagle plans to lower its prices by 15 percent of at least 3,000 products. One reason they are lowering their prices is because of the competition between Wal-Mart, Aldi, Target, and Bottom Dollar. These lower prices ultimately will be evident in two different ways (one now, and one in April). Giant Eagle is a private company that is trying to make it easier for those people who are struggling through the job market, high fuel costs, or even economic uncertainty. This story can be found at the following address: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/giant-eagle-steps-up-price-competition-680100/
The PR problem in this story is that Giant Eagle is lowering their prices today, but they never informed the public about it. You would think if an organization is lowering their prices they would want their customers to come in and shop and buy products. They are sending the wrong message (if theres a message at all) to their customers.
Giant Eagle seems excited about the new pricing and hopes to reduce prices to those who are in financial hardships. They are doing this not only for their customers but to beat out their competition. They hope to gain new customers along with their loyal customers.
There were no real stories written about the lower pricing other than from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Unless you read stories on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website you probably wouldn’t know about the lower pricing. There were no press releases, no interviews, or events leading up to this. The only other PR action that I found was on the Giant Eagle website. On their homepage they have a huge sign stating the lower prices and examples on certain products. This may only affect someone who is going to the Giant Eagle website before they go shopping, otherwise it probably is not.
There are a few PR tools that I would have recommended Giant Eagle use. First, if they were to have a story through the local newspaper I would recommend them giving more information through direct quotes (interview). Second, I would recommend them airing a commercial (even if it’s only 10 seconds) about the pricing. Flyers in the mail would have been another PR tool that would have worked well.
The reputation of Giant Eagle is not tarnished by any means. By them lowering the pricing enhances their reputation and makes them look like a company that cares about the well-being of the community. It makes them more relatable to customers and builds a strong relationship with them.
Improving PR efforts for Giant Eagle can be unlimited. For the second wave of pricing I would recommend that they promote it much more. I would tell them to hand out flyers through the mail, have signs hanging in their window and even a small commercial warning the community about the new change.