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Stop & Shop’s school rewards program returns

BY Allison Cerra

QUINCY, Mass., and PURCHASE, N.Y. — School is back in session, and so is Stop & Shop’s rewards program.

Customers once again are encouraged to sign up for the A+ School Rewards school fundraiser, a program launched in 2009 to support local schools throughout participating markets. During the 2012-2013 school year, Stop & Shop said it will donate $2.5 million through the program. More than $4 million has been donated to local schools since the program’s inception.

How it works: A+ School Rewards are accrued with each purchase a customer makes using his or her Stop & Shop card. Points also can accrue when shopping with a Stop & Shop card on Peapod.com. To participate in the program, customers must sign up and designate their chosen school(s) at Stopandshop.com. Shoppers can designate up to two schools to benefit from the program and are required to re-designate each year. Participants are encouraged to sign up or re-designate as soon as possible so their chosen schools can begin earning points when the program begins. Beginning in November, current school totals can be found on the A+ website at Stopandshop.com/aplus.

The program, which runs from Oct. 5 through March 28, allows Stop & Shop customers to help local schools earn cash for technology, scholarship programs, summer programs, field trips, playgrounds and other educational needs.

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SymphonyIRI: Younger boomers shift to dollar channel versus drug in vitamins, internal analgesics

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Drug channel retailers hold a lower than average share among younger baby boomers, likely due to a particularly low share across sizeable categories, such as vitamins and internal analgesics, within the younger boomer cohort, SymphonyIRI Group reported Thursday as part of its latest Times & Trends Report, "Baby Boomers: Riding the Wave of Diversity." In contrast, dollar channel spending among younger boomers is above average across each of these categories.

“Boomers will experience a broad range of lifestyle changes in the coming years that will dramatically change where and how they shop for consumer packaged goods and what they buy,” said Susan Viamari, editor of Times & Trends at SymphonyIRI. “The important thing for CPG marketers to remember is that boomers are not a homogeneous group, so sweeping strategies will not be effective. By developing highly-targeted marketing strategies that are aligned with the needs of key shoppers and consumers, retailers and manufacturers can create shopping experiences that will win share of spending and ongoing loyalty.”

Boomers’ concern about healthcare cuts across several prevalent health conditions. For instance, 70% of younger boomers and 71% of older boomers feel they are overweight. Boomers also show above average concern with cholesterol and cardiac health.


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Walmart kicks off holiday toy layaway program

BY Marianne Wilson

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart announced its Top 20 Toy List for the upcoming holidays and said the items now are available at Walmart stores in time for the retailer’s layaway program, which launches this Sunday.

In a social media tie-in, customers who "like" their local Walmart store’s Facebook page can begin using the service immediately.

The discounter also said that if a customer puts a toy on layaway and Walmart rolls back the price later in the season, the chain will honor the rolled-back price if it is in effect at the time of final payment. Walmart also will match competitor pricing during checkout for layaway products through its ad match policy. Customers will be able to pick up their toys once they complete their layaway payments. Once completed, customers will receive a full refund of the $5 layaway open fee on a Walmart gift card.

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