Big Y Bows Fee-based Discount Card

Big Y Foods has introduced a new discount program in all of its stores that grants shoppers bigger discounts on certain items – for a fee. Members of the Silver Savings Club pay $20 annually for the special deals.

“It’s like a warehouse store within a traditional store program,” Harry Kimball, director of database marketing at Springfield, Mass.-based Big Y, explained to the Hartford, Conn., Courant. The savings club began as an employee program, but now the grocer is offering it to customers as well, Kimball added.

Big Y tested the program in seven Connecticut locations over the past few months, where “it went over really well,” according to Kimball in the newspaper article.

Under its free "Big Y Express Rewards" loyalty program, the grocer, which operates 61 stores in Massachusetts and Connecticut, gives frequent shoppers "gold" and "silver" coins that are redeemable for additional discounts on particular items.

“Our customers have enjoyed the great deals available with our Express Rewards silver coins,” said Big Y VP of marketing Antonio F. Gomes. "However, they sometimes forget to bring their coins to the store or simply don’t have enough to buy all the items they want.” Customers who don’t join the Silver Savings Club will continue to receive silver coins as in the past, added Gomes.

Members of the Silver Savings Club, meanwhile, can buy up to five of any single item available for a special price with a Big Y Express silver coin, without having to provide the actual coins, as well as a five-cent-per-gallon discount at more than 70 participating gas stations, and discounted movie tickets at Big Y stores.

To join the program, existing members of the Big Y Express Savings Club can buy a Silver Savings Card from any Big Y cashier, while new customers may apply at any of the company's customer service centers. 

Big Y will track year-to-date savings on club members' receipts for every shopping trip. If the savings aren’t greater than $20 annual fee, the grocer will refund the cost of the membership.

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