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    Grocers Partner with Marathon Oil to Cross-Market

    Using Excentus Corp.'s system, fuel discounts are given with grocery purchases.

    IRVING, Texas -- Two Supervalu supplied grocery stores -- Handy Foods in Ottawa, Ill., and Newton IGA in Newton, Ill. -- selected Excentus Corp., a fuel site marketing supplier, to facilitate a cross-marketing program with Marathon Oil stations that offer consumers discounts at nearby gas stations for purchasing certain products at the grocery store.

    "We have great expectations that the program will provide a good value for our customers and help increase business for us and at Partridge's Marathon gas station next door," Mike McGrogan, co-owner of Handy Foods, said in a written statement.

    The program is branded as Pump Perks at both grocery locations and is managed by Supervalu's regional office in Kenosha, Wis.

    The grocers use the Excentus Reward Marketing Engine to track purchases of promoted items and the corresponding fuel discounts. Marathon locations use the Excentus Reward Link, which attaches to the Verifone Ruby SuperSystems to gather customers' reward information and discounts the price of gas by the appropriate amount.

    "We expect to see the same type of sales increase at our Newton store as we’ve already seen at our Robinson location," said Bob Rynke, general manager of Oblong Foods, parent company of Newton IGA and Robinson IGA, where a similar fuel marketing program with Excentus has seen in place since August 2004.

    The collaboration using Excentus Reward Link is a first for Marathon stations, according to Excentus. It also opens the possibility for all Marathon stations to cross market through Excentus' Reward Marketplace suite of products.

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