Programs
 
Canadian Discounter Takes Off with Mobile Loyalty Program
Giant Tiger is expanding its GT VIP mobile loyalty program to stores in Ontario. “The Ottawa-based discount retailer, which operates more than 250 stores across Canada, is now making its mobile loyalty program available in the Ontario market. This expansion follows an initial launch at 23 stores in the Ottawa region in April 2019. The company anticipates full Canada-wide rollout starting early 2020.”
 
Customer Experience
 
Old Navy Plans to Open 800 More Stores
The apparel retailer plans to part with its parent company and open hundreds of new stores. “At its investor event on Thursday, Old Navy, which has about 1,200 stores, said it wants to reach 2,000 locations by opening stores, mostly in smaller, underserved markets. The company didn’t specify a timeline and said it aims to eventually hit $10 billion in annual sales. Old Navy opened 145 stores between 2016 and 2018, the company said.”
 
Taco Bell Now Has a Vegetarian Menu
The QSR has been popular with vegetarians and vegans, but until now, it lacked a formal vegetarian menu. It has now launched one that features primarily previously available items, as well as a couple new additions.  “With customers becoming more health conscious, the change makes it easier for vegetarians to see their options, the Yum Brands-owned company previously explained. The nationwide expansion of the new menu items to Taco Bell’s 7,000 US restaurants comes after a test earlier this year. It’s also planning a new advertising campaign to promote the new section.”
 
Google Pay Now Adds Your Rewards Cards In-Store
Google Pay will now add loyalty and rewards cards to users’ digital wallets automatically. “Ordinarily, users need to navigate through the app’s settings and submenus to add a card manually or have them linked up with a Gmail account. Google’s latest change appears to make that automatic. Discovered almost purely by accident, now users effectively just need to shop with Google Pay to add the cards. After using their loyalty card alongside a purchase, a notification will arrive on-device to add the card. The card is shown alongside membership details for confirmation. A simple tap on the ‘Save’ button adds the card for future use.”
 
Tech
 
France Calls for EU Crypto Rules and Creation of a “Public Digital Currency”
The government of France has called on the EU to create a “public digital currency,” likely referring to a cryptocurrency akin to the one developed by the Chinese government. The Chinese digital currency is a central bank digital currency (CBDC). “Interestingly, former French minister and former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief, Christine Lagarde, also recently encouraged the ‘exploration’ of CBDCs because of slowing demand for cash and rising preference for digital money. Lagarde is also one of the front-runners to be the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) next president, which means chances of a European CBDC could be higher.”

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