Jewel drops its savings card

2013-07-01T10:30:00Z 2013-07-08T13:39:05Z Jewel drops its savings cardJoseph S. Pete, (219) 933-3316

Shoppers won't have to fish around in their wallets for another card while checking out at a local grocery store, just so they can save 20 cents on lunch meat or a box of cereal.

Jewel-Osco has scrapped its preferred savings card and fuel rewards card, which both resulted in discounts, in order to pursue an everyday low prices strategy instead. The Chicagoland-area chain wants all customers to pay the same, regardless of whether they have a card or not, spokeswoman Christine Wilcox said.

"Simply put, we want to offer anyone who shops at Jewel card-free savings," Wilcox said.

Jewel-Osco recently has lowered prices on milk, eggs and bananas as part of an overall effort to be more price competitive, Wilcox said. Dropping the rewards and fuel cards will save the grocer an undisclosed amount of money, which can be reinvested into reducing prices on other items, she said.

In Northwest Indiana, Jewel-Osco has stores in Chesterton, Crown Point, Dyer and Munster.

Jewel-Osco has had a preferred customer rewards card for a decade.

In January, New York-based investor group investor group Cerebus Capital Management acquired Jewel's parent company, Minnesota-based Supervalu Inc. In the past month, preferred savings cards have been discontinued at both Jewel-Osco and Albertsons, another former Supervalu chain.

The move comes at a time when more and more retailers have been adopting loyal cards, which are used to track customer data. Jewel-Osco isn't giving up on data, but will follow it from the store level instead, Wilcox said.

"Our internal processes and reports are sophisticated, and the individual isn't as critical as what customers are doing in a neighborhood," she said. "We have a very local approach."

Customers can turn in their cards at any Jewel-Osco to be entered into a raffle for a $100 gift card.


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