Smith's Rewards Loyal Customers With WebMiles

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Smith's Food & Drug Stores, Las Vegas, bolstered its customer retention efforts yesterday with a rewards program through consumer loyalty provider WebMiles Corp.


Smith's, a division of the Kroger Co., is now rewarding its Fresh Values program cardholders with airline miles when they buy groceries.


The program is being leveraged through all of Smith's 18 stores in the Las Vegas area. Smith's has a total of 116 stores in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.


"We are continually seeking new ways to reward our most loyal customers. We strongly believe that our customers -- both new and existing -- will enjoy this new benefit to our Fresh Values program," said Jim Hallsey, executive vice president at Smith's Food & Drug Stores.


To encourage early enrollment in the program, Smith's will reward cardholders who sign up before March 31 with double miles for a 30-day introductory period. After that, the grocer will reward one mile for every dollar spent on groceries.


WebMiles will add incentives to shoppers using the WebMiles MasterCard by awarding one air mile for every dollar spent.


To create a buzz, WebMiles will showcase the program to its members via e-mail.


"We can target our members in the Las Vegas area. We have total access to them. They've opted in and expect our communications," said Troy Buford, director of strategic development at WebMiles, Salt Lake City. "We expect to have upward of 15 percent of Smith's customers in the [airline miles program] the first year."


Smith's is showcasing the program on its home page, www.smithsfoodanddrug.com. The grocer also will communicate to shoppers through point-of-sale reply cards, floor decals and ceiling banners.


Consumers will be urged to join the program online through the co-branded www.webmiles.com/smiths. This URL, a toll-free number and a postal address will be printed on the point-of-sale reply cards to drive registrations, Buford said.
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