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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --
said that motorists have saved more than $35 million on fuel purchases the southeast regional grocer introduced its "fuelperks!" program in Panama City, Fla., three years ago. Since then, fuelperks! has spread to all of Florida except the Pensacola area, as well as being available at Winn-Dixie stores in south Georgia, part of Alabama and southeast Louisiana.
"With an average fuel price of $3.295 per gallon, you would have nearly 1,200 tanker trucks lined up bumper to bumper for more than 13 miles. That's what $35 million worth of fuel looks like," noted Mary Kellmanson, group VP of marketing at Jacksonville, Fla.-based Winn-Dixie, which operates about 480 retail grocery stores in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi. "That gives you an idea of the savings of fuelperks! And that's on top of the savings found by shopping at Winn-Dixie."
The key to fuelperks! is Winn-Dixie's Customer Reward Card, which has a magnetic strip on the back like a debit or credit card. Winn-Dixie shoppers earn fuel savings each time they shop and swipe their cards when buying groceries. Additionally, fuelperks! Rewards are stackable; that is, the more a customer spends, the more fuelperks! she earns. For every $50 purchase, guests earn a five-cents-per-gallon reward, and so on. Additionally, shoppers don't have to spend $50 in one transaction. Purchases are automatically tracked on their receipts, and each time the $50 threshold is met, another five-cents-per-gallon reward on fuel is earned.
To redeem fuelperks!, Winn-Dixie customers insert their Customer Reward Cards at the pump of any of the more than 900 participating Shell stations and can watch the price roll back according to the amount of discounts rewards they've amassed.
As well as fuelperks! Rewards based on cumulative purchases, Winn-Dixie offers more than a dozen bonus items on a weekly basis, most worth an extra five- to 10-cents-per-gallon reward, with some items worth an extra 20- to 50-cents-per-gallon reward. There's no limit on the number of bonus items that can be bought. fuelperks! can be earned on nearly all food and prescription purchases, with exceptions for tobacco products, money orders and lottery tickets, among other items.
"Our guests are embracing the fuelperks! program and sharing their experiences with others," added Kellmanson. "They save each time they shop Winn-Dixie and when they fill up at the pump. And they are sharing their savings stories with others through conversations and on Facebook. Winn-Dixie has exclusive rights to fuelperks! in our five-state operating area." She said that future expansion plans called for the program to be implemented throughout the Florida panhandle, Alabama and Mississippi.
Winn-Dixie's fuelperks! program is an alliance with Excentus Corp., a Dallas-based retail marketing coalition specializing in fuel-based reward programs, and Houston-based Shell Oil.