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Nearly one-third of consumers cite privacy as concern in loyalty programs

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO — A growing number of consumers are concerned about their privacy when they sign up for loyalty card programs, according to a new survey.

Market research firm Mintel found that 32% of Americans believe the privacy of their personal information is an important attribute of a loyalty program, and one-tenth or more express frustration or dissatisfaction with too much personal information being requested during enrollment and lack of control over the privacy of their information. The report was based on a survey of 2,000 adults.

More than half of respondents cited ease of redeeming rewards, ease of earning points and monetary rewards as factors that made loyalty programs attractive. Meanwhile, 36% found access to exclusive deals and coupons attractive, and 22% sought easy enrollment options.

"Reassurance of privacy is undoubtedly a key strategic tool in loyalty program engagement, but there is a paradox at play here between personalization and privacy," Mintel retail and technology analyst Ika Erwina said. "Ironically, even though loyalty program members crave a more personalized, relevant experience, they also show concern about sharing the information required to enable the retailer to deliver on this desire."

About 16% of participants in loyalty programs say their programs are less tailored toward their shopping habits, with 20% of millennials saying so.

"Age is strongly related to the type of loyalty program in which people belong," Erwina said. "While supermarket loyalty program memberships are likely to be cited by individuals ages 35 years and older, 18-year-olds to 34-year-olds tend to enroll in food service, mass merchandiser, online retailer, convenience stores or fuel or dollar discount store programs."

Erwina also said club store memberships were popular among younger people and suggested that retailers incorporate social issues into programs to improve awareness and participation.

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Meijer highlights efforts to reduce emissions from diesel fleet

BY Alaric DeArment

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Mass merchandise chain Meijer operates one of the largest all-clean diesel vehicle fleets in North America, the company said Monday.

The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer, which runs 203 stores in the Midwest and Kentucky, said its fleet used various technologies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint by nearly 60%. The company, which has 170 semi trucks, said its fleet was the first in North America to implement the federal clean emissions standards that feature near-zero emissions technology.

"This is an extremely rewarding achievement that truly speaks to our commitment to the environment," Meijer EVP supply chain operations and manufacturing Rick Keyes said. "Not only are we integrating cutting-edge technology into our business; we also are working under the philosophy that to be a good company, we must be a good neighbor."

Improvements include a 47% reduction in particulate matter; a 55% reduction in nitrogen oxide; a 3% reduction in carbon dioxide; and a 5% increase in fuel economy.

 

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Stater Bros. pharmacy head’s daughter named 2014 Rose Queen

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Ana Marie Acosta, the daughter of Stater Bros. VP pharmacy John Acosta, has been named the 2014 Rose Queen by the Pasadena, Calif., Tournament of Roses Association, the 166-store supermarket chain said.

Acosta, 17, attends the Polytechnic School in Pasadena and is head of the school’s varsity equestrian team.

Acosta was named the 96th Rose Queen in a ceremony at First Church of the Nazarene, chosen from more than 900 young women in the area who participated in the Royal Court tryouts.

Acosta and the six Rose Princesses will make more than 100 community and media appearances, culminating in the 125th annual Rose Parade and the 100th Rose Bowl Game.

 

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