Walgreen Co. is getting off to a strong start with its new customer loyalty program, Balance Rewards.

Walgreens, Balance Rewards, customer loyalty program, Graham Atkinson, Adam Holyk, drug chain, Duane Reade

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Walgreens off to fast start with loyalty program

September 15th, 2012

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. is getting off to a strong start with its new customer loyalty program, Balance Rewards.

The nation's largest drug chain said Saturday that so far, over 1 million customers have signed up for the program since Sept. 6, when Walgreens launched its online-only enrollment process.

Customers can also enroll in Balance Rewards via a mobile device through the Walgreens mobile application or by scanning the program QR code found on signs in the stores. All of the 7,929 Walgreens and Duane Reade stores nationwide are participating in Balance Rewards.

The program, which Walgreens said could become the country's largest consumer loyalty offering, officially kicks of on Sunday, Sept. 16.

"Our loyalty program is distinctive," Graham Atkinson, senior vice president and chief customer experience officer at Walgreens, said in a statement. "Balance Rewards offers easy enrollment, instant points and endless rewards, as well as ways to get, stay and live well at Walgreens."

Atkinson called Balance Rewards "one of Walgreens' largest and most important programs in company history."

"As part of our strategic vision to become America's first choice for health and daily living, Balance Rewards is the latest innovation in Walgreens' long heritage of helping customers be happy and healthy," Atkinson stated.

Walgreens said Balance Rewards will be attractive to consumers because, for one, it's easy to join. They can sign up at checkout or any photo kiosk, online at walgreens.com/balance, with their mobile device through the Walgreens app or by scanning the program QR code found on signs in the stores. Savings and points can be earned when members show their Balance Rewards card, provide their phone number or scan their mobile rewards card from the app.

In addition, the retailer noted, customers can instantly earn and redeem points for thousands of items in store and online. They will also earn points for prescriptions where state law allows, and for purchases and activities that help them stay well, such as the Walk with Walgreens program and immunizations.

The program also provides what Walgreens said are "endless rewards." Customers can choose how and when to redeem their points, enabling them to earn the rewards the most valuable to them. Points don't expire as long as customers remain active by shopping at Walgreens at least once every six months and redeem their points within three years.

"Walgreens designed Balance Rewards entirely for the consumer," according to Adam Holyk, divisional vice president of loyalty and consumer insights at Walgreens. "We have utilized the latest technologies in loyalty programs to make it easier for customers to save, earn and redeem points. Balance Rewards also strengthens our ability to better understand our customers, meet their changing needs and treat our best customers even better. Customers will see more customized stores with improved product mixes and rewards on popular products."

Besides being able to sign up for Balance Rewards at a Walgreens store, New York City customers can join the program at any Duane Reade store starting today and start saving and earning points immediately. Walgreens said Duane Reade FlexRewards program points have been converted to Balance Rewards and become available when customers join the new program.

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