COMPTON, Calif. -- Ralphs Grocery Co., here is targeting its senior shoppers, those aged 60 and older, by launching a Ralphs Club Senior Rewards Card program.
The new loyalty program affords seniors the opportunity to save an extra $1 on their grocery charges each time they accumulate $10 in purchases of Ralphs private-label products. Carried throughout the store in all product categories, the store brands are identified under six labels -- Ralphs, Private Selection, Perfect Choice, First Choice, Van de Kamps and Buena Comida.
Every store brand product is guaranteed. If not satisfied, customers may exchange any Ralphs private-label item for their favorite national brand, or receive a full refund.
"This is our newest way to recognize, thank and solidify the patronage of many of our regular shoppers," said Terry O'Neil, spokesman for the chain, a division of Cincinnati-based The Kroger Co. "We began signing up customers at the end of March and have met with such a great response that we have exceeded our projections," he said.
In addition, the Senior Card extends all of the benefits and savings of the existing Ralphs Club membership to seniors. These include in-store sweepstakes, promotions and the new WebMiles feature, also added in March, wherein Ralphs shoppers earn one WebMile reward for every dollar they spend in the stores. WebMiles are unrestricted airline miles that can be redeemed on any airline.
Although the Senior Rewards Card is still in its formative stage, this loyalty program is expected to grow and offer additional promotions and services, according to O'Neil.
"We are considering many other ways in which we can reward the loyalty of long-term shoppers," O'Neil said. "The response has been so positive that we want to build on this initial enthusiasm."
Applying for the new program is as easy as filling out an application and receiving a card on the spot. Savings begin immediately. "We haven't been having any problem signing up seniors," said Darren Jolikoeur, manager at the Castaic Road Ralphs in Castaic, Calif. "Once we explain that they are getting discounts just like employees get, they become very excited. They like getting that something extra," he told SN.
To help senior shoppers enroll, Ralphs employees sit at specially marked tables in the stores and try to catch anyone passing by who might be eligible. "Some of the shoppers might not be comfortable filling out the application, but that's what our people are for," Jolikoeur said. "And when they get the card and the discount right away, they are very happy to be part of this new program."