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New loyalty program offers Plenti

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John Learish, Rite Aid

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The introduction of the Plenti coalition loyalty program this spring will bring a new element to the loyalty card arena in the United States: choice. By enabling shoppers to earn and redeem points from a breadth of retailers, the participating merchants take the value and appeal of loyalty programs to the next level. What’s more, it’s simple — one point for each cent spent (or $10 in savings for 1,000 points) — and convenient (no more wallets, purses or keychains packed with shopper cards).

At a press event in New York City on Tuesday, it was clear that the participating companies are enthused about the program, especially the wide variety of merchants: American Express (financial services), Rite Aid (retail pharmacy), Macy’s (department stores), ExxonMobil (gas stations and convenience stores), AT&T (wireless services), Nationwide (insurance), Direct Energy (utility) and Hulu (entertainment). Pop-up displays at the event (see slideshow) illustrated Plenti in the retail settings of the various merchants. The displays, too, conveyed the broad appeal of the program, given its high-profile participants.

A key factor behind the coming together of the coalition, executives said, was the track record of American Express in the loyalty realm. The company’s US Loyalty division will serve as the operator of Plenti. In 2011, American Express acquired Germany-based Loyalty Partner. The company operates three subsidiaries, including Payback, a leading multi-partner loyalty program. Currently, Payback manages coalition loyalty programs in Germany, Italy, Poland, India and Mexico and has over 60 million active customers.

Here are some executive comments about Plenti:

“Consumers today are busy and smart. They know good value, and they want to be rewarded for the dollars they spend day-in and day-out at their favorite stores. Plenti will offer customers everyday opportunity to earn and to redeem those points with much more choice. So shoppers can choose to reward themselves on routine purchases, or they can save up points to buy great gifts or treat themselves to larger purchases. Macy’s is excited to be a part of breaking new ground for American consumers with a program that is focused on rewarding them frequently and with greater cumulative value.” — Martine Reardon, chief marketing officer at Macy’s.

“We are excited to join Plenti and add this compelling customer value proposition to our already successful wellness+ loyalty program. Our customers told us that adding the ability to earn and use points for savings in our stores and at eligible Plenti partner locations, while saving up to 20% every day in our stores, significantly increases the appeal of our program and creates more reasons for them to shop at Rite Aid more often.” — John Learish, senior vice president of marketing at Rite Aid.

“Plenti is an exciting opportunity for ExxonMobil to partner with numerous major brands to create a game-changing loyalty program in the U.S. This is the first and only program of its kind in the country, and it will give consumers the opportunity to earn and redeem points on everyday spending, including fuels, convenience store and car wash purchases at participating Exxon- and Mobil-branded stations.” — Matt Bergeron, vice president of marketing for ExxonMobil Fuels, Lubricants & Specialties Marketing Co.

“Direct Energy is proud to be a part of this first-of-its-kind rewards program that gives credit to our customers for making everyday purchases, including simply paying their energy supply bill. We are always looking for innovative and exciting ways to bring value to Direct Energy customers, and Plenti allows customers to earn rewards easily and quickly.” — Mike Beck, vice president and chief sales officer at Direct Energy.


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