Pathmark Stores, Catalina Marketing Team up for Membership Program

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Pathmark stores will use Catalina Marketing Corp.'s ValuLink program to expand the benefits of the grocer's Advantage Club Card, the companies said yesterday.

Carteret, NJ-based Pathmark operates 141 supermarkets primarily in the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia metropolitan areas.

ValuLink is a customer relationship management product that provides retailers with a flexible platform to execute multiple objectives, including the ability to interact more personally with their customers through targeted e-mail programs.

According to both companies, the ValuLink program will enable Pathmark to develop an E-Vantage Xtra$ Club that will provide its members with special savings. Customers will be offered the opportunity to join the club online. Customers will receive Pathmark branded e-mails with special club savings that are targeted based on actual purchase patterns. As in the case with all its marketing programs, Pathmark said it will hold all customer information in confidence. Pathmark said it will never sell names, addresses or purchase information to a manufacturer or third party.

"We have seen the impressive results that ValuLink has achieved in customer recruitment and are excited about the opportunities for our E-Vantage Xtra$ program," said Margaret Bigley, director of marketing for Pathmark. "Catalina Marketing has proven to be a leader in targeted consumer promotions, and we believe that the ValuLink program will follow as a leader in targeted online customer relationship management solutions."

According to International Data Corporation, CRM is expected to grow at a rate of 30 percent to more than $12 billion in the year 2004. The ValuLink program will provide a CRM product for supermarket retailers through targeted e-mail communication.

"We are pleased to announce this relationship with Pathmark, because it demonstrates how beneficial the ValuLink program is for our retailers," said Chris Linskey, senior vice president of St. Petersburg, FL-based Catalina Marketing. "The E-Vantage Xtra$ Club will enable Pathmark to leverage its existing loyalty card program to deliver online promotions on an individual basis. Customer relationship management is a key part of all of our programs and we are excited about expanding the reach of our online program."

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