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Some loyalty programs miss mark among consumers, study finds

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK — A report released Tuesday by payment system provider ACI Worldwide found that many retail loyalty programs leave consumers feeling underappreciated, and many consumers are enrolled in a program they don’t completely understand.

Although 3-out-of-4 Americans are members of at least one retail loyalty card program, 85% of those surveyed said that they haven’t heard a single word from a loyalty program since the day they signed up. Likewise, 81% said they don’t even know the benefits of the program or how/when they will receive rewards.

The majority of American consumers (62%) join retail loyalty programs so they can get discounts on the things they buy most, the survey noted, yet only 36% received a reward or promotion that made them come back to the store again, and 27% of consumers complained they had received a reward or promotion for something they would never buy.

More than 2-in-5 consumers (44%) said they have had a negative experience from a loyalty program.

“Loyalty programs have long been a logical way to leverage consumer satisfaction, but retailers are missing the mark when it comes to reaching out to consumers with information and offers that are relevant to them,” said Rob Seward, senior industry marketing manager at ACI Worldwide. “The end result is that memberships are becoming meaningless.”

The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research and interviewed 1,053 Americans ages 18 years and older.

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Giant Eagle named recipient of ADA’s Chairman Citation Award

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH — Giant Eagle on Thursday received the American Diabetes Association’s prestigious Chairman’s Citation Award, which recognizes the accomplishments of individuals, corporations, institutions and organizations who have demonstrated dedication and commitment, and have had a positive impact in advancing the mission of the ADA.

“Diabetes is, unfortunately, an increasingly common disease in the United States and in the communities that we serve," stated Giant Eagle SVP pharmacy operations Brett Merrell. "We have long admired the wonderful efforts of the American Diabetes Association, and are proud to continue our collaborative efforts to both educate and treat Giant Eagle customers about these diseases."

In April 2010, Giant Eagle introduced a program offering the five most commonly prescribed diabetes medications for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes at no cost to medical prescription holders. To date, Giant Eagle has provided approximately $4 million in customer savings on diabetes medications.

In addition to free diabetes medications, Giant Eagle offers a multifaceted program consisting of free diabetes screenings in all 211 pharmacy store locations; the availability of pharmacy diabetes care specialists trained from an American Pharmacists Association program and endorsed by the American Academy of Diabetes Educators at every pharmacy; and nutrition classes that will provide an overview of the major components for a healthy lifestyle, including food choices and exercise.

Since 2005, Giant Eagle has provided more than $750,000 in support of the ADA and thousands of dollars of in-kind support, such as food for events, nonperishable products for diabetes camps and leadership on local boards and committees.

Bret Michaels, lead vocalist of Poison and diabetes advocate, received the first award in 2010 for his efforts in raising critical awareness about the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of diabetes prevention and management.

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Target named one of the world’s most ethical companies

BY Alaric DeArment

MINNEAPOLIS — Target has made the Ethisphere Institute’s World’s Most Ethical Companies for 2011 list, the retail chain said Thursday.

Target said the institute, an international business ethics organization, honored Target for business practices and initiatives that benefit the community. This is the fifth consecutive year in which the company has won the award.

“Businesses thrive in strong, diverse communities, and Target’s long-standing record of community engagement and corporate social responsibility is a source of pride for our team and a hallmark of our brand,” Target president, chairman and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said. “We are honored to be recognized for our commitments to responsible corporate citizenship and to fostering an inclusive culture.”

In addition, Target was ranked 22nd on Fortune magazine’s list of the Most Admired Companies, 44th on DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity list and 26th on Corporate Responsibility’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens list.

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