Kroger’s Gas Rewards Program Shifts Into Overdrive
A RetailWire poll in January found that 27 percent
thought that gas prices would have to hit $3.50 a gallon to seriously hurt
the recovery seen in retail sales. Forty-three percent put the tragic number
at $4 a gallon. With prices within the basic range of those two price points,
there has yet to be a major drop-off in purchasing, but there is already evidence
that consumers, particularly those from the middle-class down, are altering
behavior to stretch dollars.
With rising gas prices as the backdrop, in rides
the white knight of fuel rewards. Retailers have been using free or discounted
gas for years as a means to drive store traffic, and there’s nothing like spiking
prices at the pump to make these programs appealing to consumers.
A case in
point is Kroger. It’s new fuel rewards program gives consumers credits for
up to $1 a gallon on gas for purchases made in the chain’s stores. Kroger shoppers
have the option of redeeming their fuel rewards at the chain’s Fuel Centers
or at Shell stations.
The program gives shoppers 10 cents off a gallon for every
$100 spent at Kroger locations, 50 cents off for $500 and $1 off with purchases
of $1,000. The chain’s previous program capped the rewards at 10 cents a gallon
expands fuel rewards program – The Tennessean
- Kroger expand fuel program – Richmond Times Dispatch
Discussion Questions: How big a draw are fuel reward programs? Will we see an increase in the numbers of retailers adding pumps at store locations?