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    Ahold Joins Speedpass Network

    Supermarket chain plans to incorporate retailer loyalty programs.

    IRVING, Texas -- Ahold USA reached a deal with Exxon Mobil Corp. to use its test Speedpass payment and identity system at Stop & Shop supermarkets.

    The introduction of Speedpass to Stop & Shop brings the Speedpass system to the grocery arena for the first time. Stop & Shop, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ahold, the third largest food retailer in the world, will test Speedpass at select stores beginning this fall. Ahold also operates more than 350 convenience stores.

    "We are continually working to find innovations and services that will enhance our customers' shopping experience," said Curt Avallone, vice president of marketing at Stop & Shop. "Speedpass has successfully operated at several other retail locations and has a loyal customer following. We hope to find that the Speedpass system offers our customers additional convenience."

    Stop & Shop will be the first retailer to test a new Speedpass feature that enables participating retailers to incorporate their existing loyalty card program within the Speedpass system. This added Speedpass feature will allow customers to instantly pay for purchases and simultaneously benefit from retailer rewards and discounts without having to also swipe a loyalty card.

    "One of the benefits that Speedpass Network brings to retailers like Stop & Shop is the 'network effect,'" said Mike Goldberg, president of the Speedpass Network.

    "Retailers benefit from an existing base of over 5.5 million Speedpass customers who visit over 7,300 Exxon and Mobil service stations nationwide."

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