Kroger Lures Fuel Sales With Incentives

DETROIT -- In an effort to increase its fuel sales and better compete with its competitors, Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. rolled out a program here earlier this week to incentivize customers to shop its gas locations and earn fuel discounts, The Detroit News reported.

Under the new program, shoppers at Kroger, which is the state's largest grocer, receive one point for every dollar spent at Kroger fuel stations -- 1,000 points would equal $1 off per gallon for each fill-up, according to the report. Pharmacy prescriptions earn 50 points each, while gift card purchases earn double points. Customers can also earn 10 cents off each gallon per fill-up at one of Michigan's more than 150 Shell gas stations and convenience stores through the program, the report stated.

Kroger has 30 fuel stations in Michigan, and partnered with Shell to increase its presence in the local fuel market, the newspaper reported. The program already kicked off in February in five test markets: Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Nashville and Knoxville, Tenn.; and San Diego.

The program will help Kroger compete against its two biggest grocery rivals in the state, Meijer Inc. and Walmart. Meijer, with close to 100 gas stations in Michigan, offers 5 cents off each gallon when its purchased with a Meijer credit card, according to the report.

"It adds value to the shopping experience," Kroger spokesman Dale Hollandsworth told the newspaper.

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