NEW ORLEANS -- The number of store units offering card-based frequent-shopper programs increased sharply from the second quarter of 1996 to the first quarter of 1997, moving from 4,235 to 5,867 -- a 38.5% increase in a nine-month period. These figures, based on surveys conducted by Retail Systems Consulting, Naples, Fla., indicate retailers' increasing use of frequent-shopper programs to reward loyal customers and gather information on shopping patterns. Survey results were presented at the ...

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