Advertising in need of some fuel

During a family discussion this weekend about saving money and racking up loyalty points at our various preferred supermarkets, I made a discovery. I had 200+ “gas points” attached to my Stop & Shop account.

“I have gas points at Stop & Shop,” I announced, staring at the S&S app on my iPhone with a confused look. “213 of them… what does that mean?”

“They offer gas points?” The collective surprise around the room confirmed they weren’t familiar with the program either.

After some Googling, I learned that Stop & Shop expanded its Gas Rewards program to include Shell stations in New Y0rk last summer. Where was I?

Sooooo, I read about how to redeem the points and headed off to the gas station. There were signs everywhere advertising the program, but while the station is close to home it is not on route to any of my regular destinations so the signage was lost on me.

Redeeming my points was easy enough—enter your loyalty card number and fill ‘er up. I received $.20 off each gallon. Ka-ching!

Next, I headed to my Stop & Shop to figure out why the heck I hadn’t heard of this program. And there, in the window was a sign. Damn! I missed that one!

But then I went inside and… nada! I didn’t see anything advertising the program. No signage at shelf level or at the register. How is a girl supposed to know how to save money? 

I was a little disappointed in my Stop & Shop. Being a regular shopper there—and a big eater—I spend a good amount of money and would have happily made a few extra turns to pump my gas at the Shell station promising to save me some dough.

You could argue that its consumers’ responsibility to seek out opportunities to save money, but a good retailer knows that is not going to guarantee them consumer loyalty. Hmmmm…

At least I know now, right? Better late in saving than paying full price.

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