A little goes a long way

BY TAMEKA GORDON Assistant business co-ordinator tamekag@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, January 13, 2013

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CAN'T be bothered to fill out that membership form at the grocery store? If so, you might be throwing away thousands of dollars annually.

Membership clubs offer opportunities to "put back well-needed cash into your pockets", says Arlene Nelson, marketing manager at Hi-lo Foods stores.

The store's preferred customer loyalty programme, which is driven by the spending pattern of the customer, offers a seven per cent discount on purchases made within a given period.

So, a $10,000-shopping bill could be reduced by $700 when made within a specified period.

Similarly, a Michi Super Centre members' card offers a $500 discount on purchases after a shopper accumulates 30,000 points.

The points are earned on purchases made over time and are detailed at the end of the customers' receipt with every purchase. Customers can therefore track their points standing and plan for the discounts to be had, the store tells Sunday Finance.

"It may not seem like much when the actual purchase is made, but accumulated savings of this nature mean a lot at the end of the day," the company said.

Additionally, family members of Michi customers are allowed to tender the store card with benefits accumulated in the cardholder's name.

This multiply effect, by the company's reckoning, creates extra savings opportunities, which can then be used to the benefit of the whole family.

Hi-lo has partnered with other entities such as Sangster's and Adam and Eve Day Spa to create added benefits for its customers.

While not revealing the details of the discounts given through these agencies, the company sees its loyalty programme as a viable means of helping its customers to cut costs "in challenging economic times".

MegaMart also extends savings options to its customers through its Mega cash rewards programme.

The company says its three per cent discount, which is offered on each purchase by its 'Mega members', can be "redeemed at any time".

Larger clubs such as Magna have several participating stores from which customers earn rewards points.

The points are earned by spending a minimum $200 before tax. A voucher, which is redeemable at participating stores, is sent to the customer on accumulation of 70 points.

Membership clubs, such as those identified, are typically free and offer additional access to promotions and sales, which make them worth considering.





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