Plenti, the first U.S.-based coalition loyalty program, welcomed its first grocer partner this week: Southeastern Grocers LLC, the parent company of popular chains BI-LO, Fresco y Más, Harveys, and Winn-Dixie.
Plenti will be introduced in these stores beginning April 5.

As the grocery category in the U.S. is highly regionalized, Plenti expects to expand the coalition with new grocery partners over time in more regions across the country.

Sharry Cramond, CMO for Southeastern Grocers, explained to Loyalty360 why the company chose Plenti.

“Plenti has many partners that are known as the very best in their respective industries and can provide the flexibility our customers have requested,” she said. “The Plenti coalition now spans 12 partners, putting 7 percent of all U.S. households within five miles of at least two of the more than 30,000 retail locations participating in the program. Plenti’s partners, such as ExxonMobil, AT&T, Nationwide Insurance, Hulu, Chili’s, Macy’s, and more –all have an established presence in the Southeast and lots of success with the Plenti loyalty rewards program.”

Cramond said the company’s goal is to give its customers exactly what they have wanted.

“A program that’s more flexible, offers more rewards, and gives them much longer before the points expire,” she explained. “Our customers will easily earn free gas and groceries whenever they buy gas and groceries! With this program, customers can earn points that transfer directly into cash discounts at participating retailers – including their neighborhood BI-LO and Winn-Dixie – and the points won’t expire for two years.”

Cramond said the company’s current loyalty program has been in its Winn-Dixie and BI-LO stores since 2009.

“With our previous program, customers had an opportunity to only save money at the gas pump if they redeem their rewards within the allotted timeframe,” she said. “Customers will still be able to save money at the gas pump with their Plenti® Rewards card, but will now have more time to redeem and could also use their points toward grocery purchases and more through partnerships with other retailers. We believe the structure and flexibility of Plenti will set a new standard for great value and savings for our customers.”

U.S. Loyalty, a division of American Express, operates Plenti.

Josh Berwitz, president, U.S. Loyalty, American Express, told Loyalty360 about Plenti’s evolvement since its inception in May 2015.

“We recently welcomed Chili’s into the program and we’re seeing strong results already,” Berwitz explained. “Now, we’re excited to launch with Southeastern Grocers as our first grocer. It’s a big milestone for the coalition and, because of the regional nature of grocery stores, expanding in this category will continue to be an important focus for us as we grow our footprint. We’re also very interested in other frequently shopped categories, including DIY/home improvement, convenience, QSR and even pet stores.”

While coalitions have been broadly appealing in other markets, Berwitz noted, having one loyalty program that spans so many brands is still a relatively new concept in the U.S.

“Yet, we’ve seen really strong engagement and are excited by the significant number of Americans who have the Plenti card and have earned and used points at our partner locations,” Berwitz explained. “From a partner perspective, we’re seeing great enthusiasm to collaborate with each other. Southeastern Grocers and ExxonMobil have been working closely, and we’re also seeing brands that have not traditionally worked together discover new business synergies because of their participation in Plenti.”

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