Chevron-Safeway Alliance

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Chevron Corp. and Safeway Inc. officially launched a joint loyalty program in this market yesterday, linking the oil company's gasoline program with the Safeway's in-store merchandise.

San Francisco-based Chevron and Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway rolled out a fuel rewards program that is slated to run a minimum three months. The pilot program involves 87 Chevron and two Safeway gas stations, as well as 25 Safeway supermarkets, CSNews Online has learned.

The program is based around an offering developed by Dallas-based Fuel Marketing Solutions that delivers free gasoline vouchers to customers purchasing select supermarket items.

The concept of packaging fuel discounts with in-store purchases is a relatively new, yet growing, merchandising concept. The first such venture to capture headlines was two years ago when supermarket giant Albertson's Inc. of Boise, Idaho, and oil marketer/refiner ARCO piloted a similar loyalty offering in Bakersfield, Calif. market.

The ARCO "Gas Rewards" program ended last year with the companies calling off the experiment. That pilot, say officials involved in the Chevron-Safeway experiment, served as model for the latest supermarket-oil marketer venture.
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