Duane Reade staffers show their colors, don shirts to promote new loyalty card

NEW YORK —Duane Reade’s overhaul under the new management team led by chairman and CEO John Lederer continues with the recent launch of its new FlexRewards loyalty program. The program replaces the retailer’s Dollar Rewards program and promises to offer members lower prices, more opportunities to earn points and more control over how and when they can spend their rewards.

To celebrate the Jan. 16 kickoff and promote the new rewards program, Duane Reade associates sported bright yellow shirts bearing a picture of the card and a phrase: “Get Yours Today!”

The marketing approach is similar to the one Duane Reade took when it debuted its 20-page “magalogue,” dubbed The Duane Reader, in November. For that launch, store associates wore bright red shirts that read, “The Duane Reader.”

During the retailer’s first-quarter conference call in May 2009, Lederer mentioned that it would be relaunching its loyalty program, then known as Dollar Rewards, to transition it into more of a database marketing business.

With the new FlexRewards program, members get lower prices on hundreds of products per week throughout the store; plus, they earn two points on every $1 in qualified purchases and are eligible to earn bonus points from promotions and on the purchase of specially marked bonus items made available in partnership with brands.

Rewards are redeemable in $5 increments for every 500 points collected. Customers now are able to spend their $5 rewards on the spot, or save them up for special purchases or occasions. All FlexRewards points are tracked and redeemed electronically. Earned points never expire, provided accounts are active within a 26-week period, and there is no time limit on when rewards can be redeemed.

Moreover, FlexRewards members will have the opportunity to earn up to 30% more points with the Super-Saver program.

“Through their actions and direct input, New Yorkers made it clear they wanted a program that made it easier to earn and receive their rewards,” stated Joe Jackman, acting chief marketing officer for Duane Reade. “In fact, half of our customers in our old program didn’t even redeem their reward coupons because there were too many restrictions. Once again, our customers pointed to another valid way we could improve the Duane Reade experience to better serve them.”

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