Not long after announcing its Fuel Perks program would be ending at the end of next month, Winn-Dixie is launching another loyalty rewards initiative aimed at broader discounts.
Southeastern Grocers, the parent company for Winn-Dixie, has joined American Express’ Plenti program, which began in 2015 and offers rewards and discounts at several retail stores, restaurants and gas stations.
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“Customers have been asking for this,” said Ian McLeod, the CEO of Southeastern Grocers, noting that surveys showed only about 20 percent of customers were using the Fuel Perks program in recent months.
In replacing Fuel Perks, which has been in place since 2009 with Shell stations and ends April 30, Winn-Dixie is partnering with American Express Plenti, which lets shoppers collect points and redeem them at thousands of retailers, restaurants and gas stations, including Exxon and Mobil.
The partnership with Plenti starts April 5.
“We are always looking for ways to provide better value to our customers. Our new rewards program will ... offer more ways to earn, more ways to save and even greater flexibility for our customers,” said Sharry Cramond, the chief marketing officer for Southeastern Grocers.
Companies that are part of the Plenti program include AT&T, Macy’s, Nationwide, Rite Aid, Chili’s, Expedia, Direct Energy, Hulu, Enterprise, National and Alamo.
Here is how it works: Winn-Dixie customers will earn points for every dollar spent, with bonus points available for certain products that will be promoted throughout the store. Points expire after two years.
With Fuel Perks, customers received discounts on gas after spending $50, and those accumulated points would expire at the end of each month.
We are always looking for ways to provide better value to our customers.
Sharry Cramond, the chief marketing officer for Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of Winn-Dixie
Southeastern Grocers is the first supermarket chain to partner with Plenti.
“Since launch, we have committed to expanding our program to brands where our members shop frequently, with a focus on the grocery category,” said Josh Berwitz, the president of U.S. Loyalty for American Express.
In trying to compete with the likes of Publix and Walmart in the ever-expanding market for groceries, Winn-Dixie is hoping the new loyalty program will help the company stand out in a crowded field.
Last month, Winn-Dixie announced it was beefing up its generic brands to try to stay ahead of the competition. Private labels have taken off since the Great Recession, according to Nielsen research, which shows close to 75 percent say they are a good alternative to name brands. Moreover, discount competitors such as Aldi, Save-A-Lot and Walmart forced the company to overhaul its house label, McLeod said.