A&P discount programs

With the launch earlier this year of its A&P Food Stores 'SuperSaver' discount card, A&P is now rolling out instant discount programs at all four of its supermarket chains.A&P, which has 240 food stores across Ontario, also operates the Dominion Stores,...

With the launch earlier this year of its A&P Food Stores ‘SuperSaver’ discount card, A&P is now rolling out instant discount programs at all four of its supermarket chains.

A&P, which has 240 food stores across Ontario, also operates the Dominion Stores, Miracle Food Mart and Ultra-Mart chains.

Cards

Dominion’s card, which was the first to be launched about a year ago, is called ‘Priority Plus,’ Miracle’s is called ‘Miracle Magic’ and Ultra-Mart’s is called ‘The Power Card.’

The card programs offer consumers instant discounts at the cash register on selected items advertised in weekly flyers.

Bill Sheine, a&p vice-president of marketing, says the four supermarket chains have been phasing the cards in gradually, adding ‘each program has its own features, but the principal is the same.’

Under the new programs, stores no longer use coupons as part of their marketing mix.

Instead, they advertise the products that are on special, and customers receive the advertised discount by presenting their card when paying.

Sheine says ‘it’s a win-win situation because our customers no longer need to clip coupons and our employees no longer need to hassle with them at the cash.’

The cards, which double as proof of identity for cheque-cashing purposes, are given to customers immediately after they fill out the required application form.

Each time a customer uses the card to obtain a discount on one or more items, the cash register prints out the amount saved on the sales slip.

As well, it prints out the total amount the customer has saved to date.

a&p has begun using the information it collects to create marketing programs for advertisers.

Discounts runs

Currently, it is running a program involving discounts that run for four-week flights.

Participating advertisers receive buyer information for a period of three weeks before the program, for the four-week duration of the program, and for three weeks after the program ends.

Sheine says he has also begun to send out mailings to customers, targetted according to user frequency.

He says the uses for customer information generated by the cards are endless.

a&p developed the program in conjunction with Hughes Rapp Collins, a Toronto database agency.