Big Y has launched a new savings program for its customers on top of its current loyalty card. What makes this program different is that to get the additional savings promised with the Silver Savings Club card, shoppers need to pony up a $20 annual membership fee.
"It's like a warehouse store within a traditional store program," said Harry Kimball, Big Y's director of database marketing, told the Hartford Courant.
Big Y's existing Express Savings Club program is free of charge. Shoppers receive gold and silver coins based on their purchases that can be redeemed for discounts on specific items sold in the chain's 61 stores. Big Y customers present the coins at checkout to receive their discounts.
While redemptions in the free program are on a one-to-one basis, members of the Silver Savings Club may "purchase up to five of any individual item" that has a special silver coin price.
Another benefit of the fee-based program is consumers do not actually have to present coins to get discounts. Members of the Silver Savings Club receive benefits on top of those offered in the Express program.
"The coin program is very popular, but customers asked us for a more convenient way to do it," Mr. Kimball told the Courant.
While some consumers expressed interest in the new plan, others were unenthusiastic.
Regina Wytas, a Connecticut resident who shops at both Big Y and Stop & Shop, told the Courant, "It's only a deal if you're interested in the items they have on the silver coin list."
Big Y seemed to anticipate objections like those of Ms. Wytas. The company prints out savings associated with its fee program on every checkout receipt. If the savings consumers receive don't surpass the membership fee, Big Y will refund shoppers the $20.
How successful do you think Big Y will be with its Silver Savings Club card?