Wendy future of retail top

Duane Reade plans more ‘customer-friendly’ rewards program

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NEW YORK — Duane Reade is launching a new customer rewards program called FlexRewards that it said will be easier for shoppers to use plus offer more rewards and lower prices.

The metropolitan New York drug store chain said Friday that FlexRewards is scheduled to launch Saturday and will replace Dollar Rewards, its previous program.

Duane Reade executives noted that FlexRewards will bring program members lower prices, more opportunities to earn points, more control over how and when they can spend their rewards, and a much easier and rewarding experience overall.

"FlexRewards is a much more flexible, rewarding and customer-friendly program, and that’s exactly what our customers have been asking for," acting chief marketing officer Joe Jackman said in a statement.

"Through their actions and direct input, New Yorkers made it clear they wanted a program that made it easier to earn and receive their rewards," Jackman explained. "In fact, half of customers in our old program didn’t even redeem their reward coupons because there were too many restrictions. Once again, our customers pointed to another valid way we could improve the Duane Reade experience to better serve them."

With FlexRewards, members get lower prices on hundreds of products per week throughout the store, plus they earn two points on every $1 in qualified purchases and can earn bonus points from promotions and by purchasing specially marked bonus items made available in partnership with leading brands, according to Duane Reade, which has more than 250 stores in metro New York.

"We’re shifting from a mostly base points program to a much more exciting and rewarding bonus points focus, which means there will now be more opportunities to earn points faster. Our total investment — value in the pockets of our customers — is dramatically increasing," commented chief merchandising officer Joe Magnacca. "The end result will be more rewards for more customers, and getting the full benefit is now much, much easier."

Rewards are redeemable in $5 increments for every 500 points collected, and customers now can spend their $5 rewards on the spot or save them for special purchases or occasions, the retailer said.

And because FlexRewards points are tracked and redeemed electronically, there will no longer be a need for paper coupons, enabling customers to track points online and via in-store point-of-purchase key pads, Duane Reade added. Earned points never expire provided that accounts are active within a 26-week period, and there is no time limit on when rewards can be redeemed.

FlexRewards members, too, will have the opportunity to earn up to 30% more points with the SuperSaver program and, for a limited time, customers converting or joining FlexRewards can earn 10-times points on their first transaction of $25 or more, which equates to 500 or more points, an immediate $5 reward, the company said.

Customers can sign up for FlexRewards in all Duane Reade stores or online at www.duanereade.com/FlexRewards starting January 16. Dollar Rewards members can switch to the FlexRewards program by presenting their card to a cashier or extra staff on hand at stores.

Additional incentives also are being offered to customers who sign up for or convert to FlexRewards, including a sweepstakes awarding American Express Gift Cards of $5,000, $1,000 and $500; a coupon book with over $50 in savings on leading brand products; receipt of 100 extra FlexRewards points by signing up to receive e-mail offers and promotions; and eligibility to sign up for the SuperSaver program, in which consumers can earn up to 30% more points on larger point redemptions.


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