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Certified Oil to expand Certified Savings program to drug stores

BY Allison Cerra

COLUMBUS, Ohio An operator of gas stations and convenience stores in Ohio announced that its new three-level customer loyalty program is being expanded to pharmacies and drug stores in and around Columbus, Ohio, and will expand to other geographic areas once launched.

Certified Oil said its Certified Savings program teams up with drug store partners and will reward customers with Certified Savings points that can be used to obtain fuel discounts of up to $1 per gallon at participating Certified Oil locations. Unlike other programs that require complete point of sale system integration, Certified Savings requires minimal upfront costs.

“The program  provides a low cost solution to enable pharmacies and drug stores to provide rewards to build sales,” said Lauren Brown, Certified Savings program administrator. “Drug store partners will also enjoy additional traffic driven to their businesses from our existing  cardholder base.”

Certified Savings currently is available at more than 25 of Certified’s central Ohio gas and convenience store locations. Certified operates or supplies over 150 locations in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. Certified maintains its own  proprietary “Certified” fuel brand and also distributes fuels for Sunoco, Marathon, Valero and Clark.

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Yaksitch named VP marketing and merchandising for Albertsons’ Dallas-Fort Worth division

BY Antoinette Alexander

FORT WORTH, Texas Albertsons’ Dallas-Fort Worth division has named Frank Yaksitch as VP marketing and merchandising, effective March 12, according to published reports.

Yaksitch, who has been with Albertsons for more than 35 years, most recently served as SVP of operations for Albertsons Intermountain West division.

During his tenure with Albertsons, Yaksitch has also held a variety of increasingly responsible positions, including store director and district manager.

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Walgreens’ monthly sales rise

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens had February sales of $5.31 billion, an increase of 3.2% from $5.14 billion for the same month in 2009.

The drug store chain also reported that its same-store sales increased 0.4%.

February pharmacy sales increased 3.7%, while comparable pharmacy sales increased 0.9%. Comparable pharmacy sales were negatively affected by 2.4 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months and a lower incidence of flu compared with February 2009. Pharmacy sales accounted for 64.5% of total sales for the month.

Total front-end sales increased 4.5% in February, while comparable store front-end sales decreased 0.6%, which the company said were impacted by continued weak demand for discretionary items and by lower incidence of flu.

Year-to-date sales for fiscal 2010 for the first six months totaled $33.34 billion, up 6.1% from the same period last year.

In the month of February, the chain opened seven stores, acquired 11 and closed one. At Feb. 28, Walgreens operated 7,679 locations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.

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