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UPDATED: Giant Eagle Ending Foodperks

The program is 'a little too complex.'

Giant Eagle is ending Foodperks..

The last day to earn Foodperks will be Feb. 13 and discounts must be redeemed by May 31.

In a letter to customers, the CEO said customers thought the Foodperks program was "a little too complex." Only a small percentage of customers received significant savings, according to Giant Eagle.

"In fact, approximately 92 percent of Giant Eagle Advantage Card customers saved less than $40 each from foodperks! in the preceding 12 months," said Rob Borella, senior director of corporate communications.

The program gave customers a 1-percent discount on groceries for every 10 gallons of gas purchased at GetGo gas stations. 

Giant Eagle's Fuelperks program will remain.

Giant Eagle is also rolling out a new 3-cent program that gives customers extra incentive to choose GetGo over other gas stations. The program started Feb. 4.

"The new GetGo 3-cent program is simple," Borella said. "Every time a customer scans his or her Giant Eagle Advantage Card while fueling at GetGo and isn’t redeeming fuelperks!, he or she will receive 3-cents off per gallon."

Borella added, "Giant Eagle had a thorough and thoughtful plan to communicate the changes this week, however the targeted mailers’ premature delivery preempted that plan. Giant Eagle truly apologizes to any letter recipients who were offended and/or misinterpreted its language."

The closest Giant Eagle to Upper St. Clair is the Market District in Bethel Park.

Will you miss Foodperks? Tell us why in the comments below. 

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Oren Spiegler February 04, 2013 at 11:25 AM
I see nothing complicated about the Foodperks program and do not accept that as the reason that the program is being discontinued. I assume Giant Eagle is ending Foodperks because it is too expensive. Although many will miss Foodperks, I trust that the program's axing will not cost Giant Eagle any business. It is still the grocery leader in the region, the most innovative marketer, offering the greatest selection of top-notch foods, excellent sales, double coupon redemption to 99-cent face value, Fuelperks, attractive, clean stores and rest rooms, and last but not least, an active, functioning, quick-responding customer service department (Spartan competitor Aldi does not recognize any element of customer service and provides no way to contact the company if there should be a problem). Although I know it will keep looking over its shoulder, I do not believe Giant Eagle has much to fear from the expansion of Wal-Mart into the grocery business. I wonder if the founders of Giant Eagle, the members of the Shapira family, could ever have envisioned when they opened one original Squirrel Hill store around 1936, what would blossom in the decades to come, the Market District concept, stores with rest rooms and baby changing stations: incredible.
Roger February 04, 2013 at 12:26 PM
I agree, Oren, GE may see a small dip in business in the near term, but am doubting they will give up any business in the long run. They have learned they can charge grocery prices, get the customers in the door, and not have to give the discounts related to fuel purchases. The proposed $0,03 discount at the pump is pretty small. Yes, I know margins at the fueling stations is small, but they probably know that few will take advantage of the $0.03. And,yes, they have learned marketing, marketing, and more marketing works. Despite customers verbalizing their disdain for GE,and the desire to shop elsewhere, the foot traffic speaks otherwise. In Peters, Food Gallery and Radachios (?) were both given good marks and people were glad to have the choice, but in the end, people voted with their feet. Both are gone. I have no doubt that GE will continue to thrive in this area. They have demonstrated they know how to entice customers, expand to meet needs, and to be an overwhelming force.
Kim February 04, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Can't wait for Whole Foods and Fresh Market. I say a little competition is good for the corporate soul. I too believe that Giant Eagle is not being completely honest with their "excuse" for ending the FoodPerks. Corporate excuses almost always make you wonder what else they are being dishonest about. Last, but not least, for those of us who are not among the USC wealth, there is a considerable pricing disparity between WalMart and Giant Eagle. I think utilizing the discounted prices for staples, health and beauty, paper products, etc . . . just makes good stewardship of our money. So my footprint will be at WalMart for those items and Fresh Market, Whole Foods and Trader Joes for meats, fresh foods. After all, what's my incentive to stay with the Market District without a "perk"; the traffic? Uh, NO.
Oren Spiegler February 04, 2013 at 01:16 PM
I thank Roger and Kim for their thoughtful and excellent analyses. Roger, I remember The Food Gallery and Radicchios well, shopped at both regularly, and miss them. I also used to stop in to the Bower Hill Shoppes Food Gallery (later to become Foodland) after weekly Sunday brunch at Silk Road, which has left this location for Caste Village, no longer offering a Sunday brunch buffet. Kim, more power to you if Wal-Mart works best for you. For my shopping, Giant Eagle cannot be beat because Wal-Mart does not double coupons nor offer buy one, get one free sales. Having said that, I will note that I try to avoid the Bethel Park Market District Giant Eagle store. The team that designed the parking setup must have been under the influence of an intoxicant: what a mess! When I shop there, I generally park across the street in the Village Square parking lot, taking my chances in crossing the busy street at the crosswalk to get to Giant Eagle. I love the McMurray Giant Eagle store: parking is easy and simple, and the store is never as crazed as Market District, which is not worth the hassle! Indeed, competition is good; I await it anxiously as well!
Duke February 04, 2013 at 06:00 PM
FYI Oren, Aldi and Trader Joes were owned by two German brothers who served in Nazi Germany's army during WWII. Because of that fact, I will not shop in either of these stores.
Robert A. Shoaf February 04, 2013 at 06:55 PM
Duke, Yes, the two Albrecht brothers, founders of Aldi, who later took over Trader Joe's. served in the German Wehrmacht during WWII, as did virtually every other German male who was of military age, along with many women in supporting roles. It's very likely that they had no choice in the matter, just as those who served in the US Armed Forces, British, Russian, Italian, Japanese, French, etc. did during that time period, such as my father and six of my uncles. Are you also boycotting BMW & Mercedes- Benz? They both made aircraft engined for the Luftwaffe. How about Leica cameras, Addidas & Puma athletic shoes? All owned by Germans. Beck's beer? How about the Hofbrauhaus on the Southside? I doubt very seriously if the Albrechts were war criminals, and if, so , would have been vigorously prosecuted by German authorities long ago Yours is a very narrow-minded viewpoint, IMO.
Ed M February 04, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Giant Eagle is also over priced on many items. We do buy all our produce, specialty items and gift cards at GE, but when it comes to everyday grocery shopping, Wal*Mart has better prices.
Dennis Myers February 04, 2013 at 07:33 PM
If food perks were too complicated for you, I suggest getting some remedial education. My guess is that it is all a financial decision. I'll continue shopping at the Market District store; their volume helps to ensure freshness. When I want a relaxing experience, i go to the South Fayette Shop and Save. They have excellent in-store specials and aisles that aren't cramped.
Oren Spiegler February 04, 2013 at 08:28 PM
You are correct, Mr. Myers. The South Fayette Shop 'n Save is a lovely, modern store with many excellent unadvertised specials. One must keep their eyes open as some of the best sales are those that are not advertised. This store is large, but not so large as to be unwieldy.
Duke February 05, 2013 at 02:54 AM
Robert - I will never buy a BMW or Mercedes-Benz, a Lecia camera or Addidas & Puma shoes. Neither will I drink Beck's beer or frequent the Hofbrauhaus on the Southside. As the Nazi's killed all of my grandmother's relatives I believe mine is not a very narrow-minded viewpoint.
Robert A. Shoaf February 05, 2013 at 04:43 PM
Duke, My sincere apologies for being insensitive.
Glenn Robinson February 05, 2013 at 06:35 PM
We regularly let our foodperks build to 20% then do a big shopping trip for non-perishables. We stock up on sales items and bogos. The savings really add up. We will miss the program.
Liza February 06, 2013 at 12:00 PM
The article in yesterday's paper has them (GE) saying this about the foodperks! program: "about 92% of them (customers) saved less than $40 over the preceding 12 months." I find that REALLY hard to believe! Especially since I myself try to avoid shopping at this dreadfully over-priced chain with lousy customer service, yet recently received a summary in the mail saying I had earned $203 in foodperks! in the last year.


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