Atlantic Superstore loyalty card fuels grocery competition

Loblaws has introduced a points card at Nova Scotia's Atlantic Superstore locations as it tries to secure the loyalty of its customers, proof of stiffening competition in the grocery industry.

Personalized flyers sent to homes; points can be checked on phone

Loblaws has introduced a points card at Nova Scotia's Atlantic Superstore locations as it tries to secure the loyalty of its customers — proof of stiffening competition in the grocery industry.

One expert said the move is not a matter of attracting new people to the stores, but an attempt to hang on to customers in the face of retail giants such as Wal-Mart, Target and Amazon entering the grocery market.

Don Shiner, an associate professor of marketing at Mount Saint Vincent University, said the move is also likely an effort to compete with the Sobeys Air Miles program.

"I don't think it would, in fact, attract many new customers," said Shiner.

"It's about keeping the customers you have so they don't walk down the street."

The free PC Plus loyalty card doesn't just rack up points for the customer. The system sends out personalized flyers based on past purchases made by a customer and people can also keep track of their points on their smartphones.

In Halifax, the card appears to be a hit. Jacqueline Gorban said it will make a difference where she shops.

"Most definitely. I think I'll be more of a loyal Superstore customer," she said.

Loblaws launched its all-digital retail loyalty program in Ontario in May. The company operates 22 different banners, including Independent, Zehrs, Superstore, Wholesale Club, Value-mart, No Frills, Maxi, Loblaws and Provigo.

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