Winn-Dixie ends Fuel Perks program, adds new partnership

Michael Doyle
March 17, 2017

BI-LO said starting Wednesday, customers can enroll for Plenti in store and online.

It happened during the test phase of a new customer loyalty program, one that lets people earn free gas, free food at restaurants, free groceries and more for shopping at specific retailers.

Winn-Dixie is replacing Fuel Perks with a partnership through Plenti. Shoppers may continue to amass FuelPerks through March 26 and redeem them until April 30. "The new program will therefore offer more ways to earn, more ways to save and even greater flexibility for our customers - thanking and rewarding them for their loyalty", said Chief Marketing Officer Sharry Cramond, Southeastern Grocers.

"Customers have been asking for this", said Ian McLeod, the CEO of Southeastern Grocers, noting that surveys showed only about 20 percent of customers were using the Fuel Perks program in recent months.

Josh Berwitz, president, USA loyalty, American Express, in an interview called the addition of Southeastern "a big milestone for us". "With a full rollout of Plenti across all of Southeastern Grocers' popular stores, our members will now have the ability to earn and use points at hundreds of locations on the items they buy most often".

Other partners include Nationwide, Rite Aid, American Express and Hulu.

"Plenti, a program operated by American Express, offers members numerous ways to earn points and save on the things they already shop for every day, regardless of the payment method used", a media release announcing the switch said. The program launched in Harveys Supermarkets in Georgia past year.

"The savings are far broader and are more aligned to our customers interests", McLeod said.

And 1,000 points would equal $10 in savings when redeemed. Florida has been a hotbed of activity for grocery stores lately, with many new brands opening stores for the first time in Florida this year.

"We are proud to be Plenti's exclusive gas partner and look forward to serving Southeastern Grocers' customers across the Southeast", she said.

The company plans to implement the program throughout all of its stores as of April 5. They wanted discounts on their groceries, too.

Fuel discount programs like Fuelperks, run by Dallas-based Excentus, proliferated during the recession as per-gallon gas prices soared. "And since the price of gas has decreased over the last two to three years, we noticed that the level engagement with the loyalty card program was declining".

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