Back in October, Rite Aid CEO John Standley called the company’s wellness+ loyalty program a key differentiator.

“Our wellness store format has resonated with customers as these stores continue to outperform the rest of the chain in terms of same-store front-end sales and script count,” Standley said at the time. “Our highly popular wellness+ customer loyalty program continues to be a key differentiator for Rite Aid. We’ve proven to be an innovator in the customer loyalty space and we will continue to build upon our successful loyalty program by adding new features and benefits in the months to come.”

In keeping with that theme, Rite Aid will add a new component to its loyalty program starting Dec. 31−wellness+ BonusCash Rewards.

Ashley Flower, Senior Manager, Public Relations, Rite Aid, talked to Loyalty360 about this new component to the loyalty program.

“We continuously review our program to ensure we’re delivering a highly-valuable rewards program to our most loyal customers,” Flower explained. “As part of these efforts, we are introducing wellness+ BonusCash Rewards to our customers beginning Dec. 31. Through this new offering, wellness+ members earn BonusCash by purchasing products from Rite Aid, and then redeeming this value at Rite Aid or on riteaid.com on their next visit.”

It’s unclear what Rite Aid’s connection to the Plenti coalition loyalty program will be after wellness+ BonusCash Rewards launches. Rite Aid has been a member of Plenti, the first U.S.-based coalition loyalty program, since its launch in mid-2015.

Of Rite Aid’s affiliation with Plenti, Flower said: “While we will remain a participating member of Plenti, our loyalty program promotions will incorporate wellness+ BonusCash Rewards moving forward.”

Plenti has lost substantial momentum during 2017 after it launched with several leading brands such as American Express, Macy’s, Rite Aid, AT&T, ExxonMobil, Macy’s, Nationwide, Hulu, Rite Aid, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Expedia, and Direct Energy.

Plenti, which is run by U.S. Loyalty, a division of American Express, is the first loyalty program of its kind to ever feature such a significant list of widely known top brands in the U.S.

But, some recent developments have placed Plenti’s future in jeopardy: Macy’s launched its new Star Rewards loyalty program and AT&T stopped its participation in Plenti on Oct. 31.

Andrew R. Johnson, director of public affairs at American Express Co., sent Loyalty360 the following statement in October:

“American Express launched Plenti in 2015 in partnership with major brands in a variety of retail categories,” Johnson said. “While Plenti has grown in scale since its launch, a number of factors, including shifting priorities among some founding partners and changing competitive conditions in their industries, have led to recent public announcements from certain founding partners regarding their future loyalty plans. American Express is in confidential discussions with a few remaining Plenti sponsors regarding the future of the program.”

The remaining Plenti partners are Exxon Mobil, Macy’s, Nationwide, Rite Aid, Chili’s, Expedia, Direct Energy, Enterprise, Hulu, and Southeastern Grocers.

Stellar Loyalty CMO Narina Sippy assessed Rite Aid’s loyalty program modification.

“Rite Aid is now the latest brand to recognize the limitations of the coalition approach and, perhaps, even distancing itself from the Plenti program,” Sippy told Loyalty360. “Rite Aid’s new wellness+ Bonus Cash program is a smart move to help deepen its customer relationships, which is more important than ever for the chain as it scales back its locations. Rite Aid now has greater control to build customer loyalty and influence frequency and spend with a more targeted, relevant, and brand-specific loyalty promotions offering.”

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