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Giant Eagle cancels foodperks program

| Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, 1:10 a.m.

Giant Eagle customers who redeem grocery-store discounts with their store-loyalty cards have until the end of May to do so.

O'Hara-based Giant Eagle Inc. is canceling its foodperks program, in which customers earn supermarket discounts based on the amount of gas they buy at Giant Eagle's GetGo gas stations. The fuelperks program, in which cardholders earn gasoline discounts based on supermarket purchases, will continue.

Starting Thursday, GetGo customers can save 3 cents per gallon of gas by scanning their Giant Eagle Advantage Cards.

“So every trip, as long as you swipe your Giant Eagle Advantage Card, you'll have a discount and save on gas,” Giant Eagle spokesman Dick Roberts said Sunday.

Other fuel brands, including Sunoco and Sheetz, offer discounts to loyalty cardholders.

Fuelperks discounts generally accumulate at 10 cents off per gallon for every $50 spent at Giant Eagle. Customers will not be able to redeem both the 3-cent discount and their fuelperks discount on the same fill-up.

Roberts said Giant Eagle is canceling foodperks partly because customers didn't embrace it as much as they did fuelperks, the chain's most popular program.

In a letter mailed to customers last week, Giant Eagle Chief Executive Officer Laura Karet said the company was canceling foodperks because customers found the program too complex.

Foodperks are awarded as a 1 percent discount on Giant Eagle purchases — up to a maximum of 20 percent off a $300 shopping bill — for every 10 gallons of gas bought at a GetGo.

“You know, you had to buy gas, accumulate points, decide whether you wanted to use the points and try to calculate when you bought gas how much you saved at a Giant Eagle store,” Roberts said.

Shop 'n Save spokesman Dan Ayer said the supermarket chain does not plan any changes to its Pump Perks program, which offers fuel discounts, usually at Sunoco, based on supermarket purchases. About 100 independently owned and operated Shop 'n Save stores are located in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and New York.

GetGo customers can continue using their Advantage Cards to accumulate foodperks rewards until Feb. 13, but they cannot be redeemed after May 31.

Giant Eagle started fuelperks in spring 2004 and foodperks in fall 2008, Roberts said. Discounts for both programs typically expire after 90 days, he said.

The company says it has 4 million Advantage Card holders.

Giant Eagle has the largest market share, 29 percent, of any grocery retailer in the Pittsburgh region, according to data from Chain Store Guide, a Tampa, Fla.-based market research firm.

Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or tparrish@tribweb.com.

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