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WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Canada Safeway last month quietly launched a new loyalty program called the SafewayClub Elite Customer, according to published reports. Shoppers who qualify with a $125 weekly grocery bill can choose among a number of perks, including a nickel-per-liter discount off gasoline, 10% off roses and deli sandwiches, and cash back up to $300.
Members also enjoy such perks as refunds without receipts and direct access to the store manager via that manager’s cell phone number. Such perks as direct access to store personnel may seem odd, but it is a vastly inexpensive tool designed to retain customers compared with the costs of obtaining a new customer.
“The program recognizes our very best customers similar to those that may use a hotel, airline or car rental company with great frequency," John Graham, Safeway's director of public affairs, told the Winnepeg Free Press, suggesting that the retailer's frequent-shopper elite program is the first of its kind for grocery stores in North America.