Some grocery store chains, appealing to consumers' desires to save gas, money and time, are pushing that notion this season.
Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., the nation's largest traditional grocer, ran full-page ads this week touting gifts under $30 for such items as plush blankets, under $20 for such products as computer bags, and under $10 for stuffed toy bears and other gifts.
Kroger also just doubled, to more than 200, the gift cards available in its stores with a deal announced this week with Blackhawk Network Inc. Shoppers can buy cards for everything from casual dining restaurants to upscale clothes stores to plane tickets.
Safeway Inc., based in Pleasanton, Calif., says it offers some 250 gift cards — Blackhawk Network is a Safeway subsidiary — and it has increased holiday offerings, with items such as doll houses and dolls, game sets, stylish decanters and hot chocolate maker sets.
"We are expanding holiday gift items, especially on safeway.com," said spokeswoman Teena Massingill.
Minneapolis-based Supervalu Inc. also has stepped up its holiday gift items this year, with a focus on electronic items from GPS systems to printers, holiday decorations and more than 200 holiday gift cards.
Spokeswoman Haley Meyer said customer service initiatives are aimed at holiday shoppers, such as "Holiday Helpers" in Jewel-Osco bannered stores, who walk around trying to help customers with their holiday shopping lists.