By CAROL ANGRISANI
Fill Up and Get
a Free Case!
Enter a raffle with
purchase of gas!
National Donut Day—
free donuts all day
Food, beverage and gas giveaways help
c-stores build loyalty—and sales.
RAFFLE W isconsin residents traveling over Thanksgiving had good reason to choose Open Pantry for gas. That’s because along with a fill-up, they could get a free case of Nestlé Pure Life water. All 8,000 members of the eight-store retailer’s OPFREE loyalty club received the free offer via text.
“I want people to know that I’m open on the holiday and there for them,” said
Jim Schutz, managing director for the Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin-based chain.
“[The water] is a reward for coming to my store.”
The free water joins a string of other high-value rewards Open Pantry offers
its OPFREE members. New members who opt-in via text automatically
receive a $2 off mobile coupon that can be used on most items in the store
(except lottery tickets, alcohol, tobacco and gas).
Offers like these are being used not only to get customers in the door, but also
as a tool to drive purchase decisions. That’s the case at Thorntons, a 183-store
chain in Louisville, Kentucky. The company’s loyalty program, Refreshing
Rewards, enables it to identify a previously anonymous consumer at every
transaction, said Chrissy Marzano, the chain’s loyalty manager. Launched in
July 2014, the program has 700,000 current active users and 1. 4 million total
“This rich data allows us to target guests with offers that are personalized
based on their behavior,” Marzano said. For example, if Thorntons knows a
guest visits every morning for coffee, the retailer will target him with a coupon
for a free ancillary product, such as a donut or breakfast sandwich, as opposed
to free coffee, according to Marzano.