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Duane Reade upgrades loyalty program

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NEW YORK — Duane Reade Inc. has launched a new customer rewards program.

Executives explain that the program — called Duane Reade Flex­Rewards — is easier to use and leads to faster rewards than Dollar Rewards, which was the chain’s previous loyalty program.

“As the name suggests, 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 says. “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. In fact, half of the 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.”

Under the new program, Jackman comments, shoppers have more opportunities to earn points and more control over how and when they can spend their rewards.

In addition, FlexRewards cardholders receive lower prices on hundreds of products every week. They earn two points on every $1 in qualified purchases and are eligible for bonus points from promotions and on the purchase of specially marked bonus items that are made available through partnerships with suppliers.

“The end result will be more rewards for more customers, and getting the full benefit is now much, much easier,” comments Joe Magnacca, who serves as chief merchandising officer.

Meanwhile, Duane Reade has teamed up with Mountain View, Calif.-based Coupons.com Inc. to offer its customers an online coupon program on its web site.

Executives at both companies point out that Internet couponing is becoming increasingly popular with consumers.

Data from Scarborough Research, they note, shows that online coupon redemption increased by 300% last year.

In the New York City metropolitan area, 20% of adults are using Internet or e-mail coupons, Scarborough notes.

“New York City residents are some of the savviest and most trend-setting shoppers around, and we know they are sticklers when it comes to stretching their dollars,” Coupons.com chief executive officer Steven Boal points out. “Partnering with Duane Reade helps New Yorkers remain in the vanguard of one of the biggest savings trends we’ve seen in recent years — the adoption of online couponing as part of everyday budgeting.”

New York City residents, he says, printed approximately $15 million worth of online coupons through the Coupons.com network last year.


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