What makes a shopper loyal to a particular store? Retailers have been trying to answer that question forever. These days, with consumers able to buy food staples at any number of different outlets — drug stores, convenience stores, mass merchants, clubs and, yes, supermarkets — food retailers have been searching more urgently for ways to hold on to their shoppers. Since the late 1980s, many retailers have made use of loyalty cards, typically offering store discounts to shoppers who ...

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