Loyalty360 Reads: June 5 | FC Barcelona Launches Digital Subscription Service, Alaska Airlines Extends Elite Status and More

Loyalty Programs
 
Alaska Airlines Extends Elite Status, Offers Multiple Ways to Earn Elite Miles
 
Alaska Airlines has announced it has guaranteed the elite status of its Mileage Plan until 2021. It is also extending a 50 percent bonus of elite qualifying miles for flights taken throughout the end of the year. Alaska Airlines Visa cardholders can also now use their card to earn elite qualifying miles, and consumer cardholders can get double miles for qualifying restaurant purchases.
 
"We are thankful to our loyal guests for their support during this unprecedented time," said Ryan Butz, Alaska's managing director of loyalty, in an Alaska Airlines press release. "In addition to continuing to offer flexibility and assurance when booking flights, members can now earn miles and status when using our Alaska Airlines Visa credit card. We look forward to seeing our guests onboard when the time is right and hope this promotion can aid local restaurants and economies."
 
Customer Experience
 
H-E-B Tops Customer Satisfaction Pandemic Ranking
 
According to the newest Bond Brand Loyalty "COVID-19 Consumer Tracker" study detailed in a Progressive Grocer article, H-E-B leads all other food retailers in customer satisfaction during the pandemic. The chain has achieved an 80 percent customer satisfaction mark, according to this study.
 
According to this article as well, "Also, 85% of consumers placed top importance on those retail operations having hand sanitizer or even handwashing stations. Beyond that, 84% said that making things easier for vulnerable consumers was important during the ongoing pandemic, as we're encouraging social distancing (83%) and limiting the sale of certain items (81%)."
 
Innovation
 
FC Barcelona Soccer Team Launches Digital Subscription Service
 
FC Barcelona is one of the most recognizable sports teams in the world, and it is now moving into another area of media, a digital subscription service. The team has launched this service, titled Barca TV+. It costs 4.99 Euros, or $5.58, and launches with over 1,000 hours of content. It is also launching an annual membership for 39.99 Euros, which will offer multiple other benefits.
 
"In the entertainment business, we are competing against not only our sports rivals," FC Barcelona board member Didac Lee told Sportico, Penske Media's new sports business platform, in the Variety article above. "We are competing against other streaming services, video games, and so on. We are competing for the attention of our audience."
 
C-store Retailers See Sweet Results from Hershey's Mobile Customer Insights Center
 
An offshoot of Hershey's Global Customer Insights Center, the brand's Mobile Customer Insights Center (MCIC) has allowed multiple retailers to discuss strategies and results with Hershey subject-matter experts.
 
"It is incredible in a little over a year and a few months to have that kind of breadth across the country to engage with our customers," Alexis Garber, category strategist for the MCIC, told Convenience Store News at the above link. "The biggest success so far has been getting out and meeting in real-time, especially as we are learning more and more about the convenience store shopper, the changing retail landscape, and snacking trends in general."
 
Retail
 
Michaels Sees 296 Pct eCommerce Growth Amid Omnichannel Rollout
 
The Michaels Company has announced its first-quarter 2020 financial report. This report has shown a 296 percent increase in e-commerce growth due to multiple factors the company said. The brand also said that even though fewer than 500 stores were open as of May 2, 2020, many closed stores were still able to see sales thanks to curbside pickup and ship from store programs.  
 
"During an unprecedented time, our teams quickly adapted and executed on key priorities for our business," Ashley Buchanan, Michaels Chief Executive Officer, said in a Michaels press release. "While temporary store closures negatively impacted our first-quarter results, I am proud of the way our team responded to changing market conditions, implementing safety and business continuity measures to protect the health of our associates while continuing to safely service the needs of our customers. This quarter, we significantly accelerated Michaels' transformation into an omnichannel retailer by introducing a robust set of customer-facing digital and fulfillment capabilities. As we reopen stores, we are encouraged by the trends we are seeing. Moving through the rest of the year, we will continue to introduce additional capabilities that enable us to serve customers wherever and however, they want to shop. We believe these actions, along with our strong liquidity, will enable us to successfully navigate the current environment and emerge a healthier, stronger, and better positioned omnichannel company."
 

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