- Los Angeles-based Smart & Final has become the California State PTA’s first-ever grocery partner as part of an exclusive program to help the organization with its fundraising and community efforts, according to a company press release.
- The partnership provides coupons and deals exclusively for the state’s 3,400 local PTAs to purchase food and service items, which will be featured in the California State PTA’s Member Perks Program and online newsletters.
- The California State PTA will also receive 2% of all purchases made through the program and local PTAs will be eligible to apply for community grants.
Partnering with the California State PTA helps Smart & Final develop deeper ties in the communities where it operates. By offering exclusive deals and discounts to members and supporting the organization's fundraising, Smart & Final will gain visibility among a large audience and may develop a loyal following from the 730,000 teachers and parents that make up the California State PTA's membership. This could give the grocer an edge over local competitors like Aldi and Walmart, especially in the crowded Southern California market.
In a statement, the retailer said it was proud to support the work the California State PTA does for California families, while the PTA recognized the value of partnering with Smart & Final as a homegrown business.
Other companies with similar partnerships include Fairway Market, which teams up with local schools in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey for the Community Partners program. For every dollar spent by program participants at Fairway Market, 3% will go back to local PTAs. Publix has donated more than $36 million to schools over the years through a program that allows customers to select a school to benefit from eligible purchases upon checkout.
Smart & Final could use the boost it may get from the partnership. The company, which operates 322 grocery stores and warehouse stores primarily in California and Nevada, has struggled since going public in 2014, mainly due to competition from discount stores and challenges in maintaining its business model.
In April, Apollo Global Management LLC announced it would acquire Smart & Final for about $1.1 billion and take the company private. In May, Smart & Final announced positive Q1 2019 earnings, with a sales growth of 2.8%. Leadership attributed the strong start to 2019 to the company’s focus on its differentiated store banners, increased private label offerings and enhanced customer service initiatives.