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Accessories: Glue & Crayons


When it comes to essential accessories for back-to-school, the unrivaled leaders in retail are the 4-ounce bottle of Elmer’s Glue and the 24-count pack of Crayola crayons.

These two items tend to anchor school supply lists for younger students and have served as a longstanding staple of retailer promotions as companies seek to demonstrate their price leadership to cost-conscious parents.

This is especially true at Wal-Mart where for the past decade the Elmer’s and Crayola brands have figured prominently in BTS promotions, and this year sank to their lowest price ever. When Wal-Mart kicked off its “unbeatable prices” BTS promotion with a circular for the week of July 15, it established a new low by offering the 4-ounce bottle of glue and 24-count crayons for 20 cents apiece.

At that price, consumers are paying a substantial discount from nine years earlier, when a Wal-Mart circular for the week of July 29, 1998, featured the 24-count crayons, normally priced at 97 cents, at a rollback price of 66 cents and the glue, normally 78 cents, at three for 99 cents.

Elmer’s and Crayola were on the cover of Wal-Mart circular again in 2000 when crayons were offered at two for $1 and the glue was priced at four for $1. Glue and crayons were bumped from the cover in 2004, but Wal-Mart still relied on these BTS accessories as items to establish pricing authority by featuring them on an inside page of its circular.

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