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Empire Prepares to Expand Loyalty Program

Scene+ to next enter banners in Western Canada in September
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Sobey's Scene+
Customers at Atlantic Canada Sobeys stores are now earning Scene+ points.

In June, Empire Co. Ltd. revealed its co-ownership of Scene+, one of Canada’s leading loyalty rewards programs, along with Scotiabank and Cineplex. Atlantic Canada was the first region in the country to introduce Scene+ in Empire’s family of stores. Now Empire is scheduled to launch the program at stores in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba on Sept. 22, continuing with additional regional launches through the remainder of Canada in 2022 and into early 2023. This rollout will include Sobeys, Safeway, Foodland, IGA, FreshCo, Chalo! FreshCo, Voilà, Thrifty Foods, Les Marchés Tradition and Rachelle Béry, as well as company liquor stores.

“The launch of Scene+ in Atlantic Canada is an exciting milestone in our loyalty journey. Early customer participation and engagement have exceeded our expectations. And we are just getting started,” said Sandra Sanderson, SVP of marketing at Empire. “We’re thrilled to announce that Empire’s stores in Western Canada are next, where our customers will have significant opportunities to be rewarded with Scene+. We will also be bringing additional value to our loyal customers at FreshCo stores in Western Canada, which will now have a loyalty program for the very first time.”

Today, Scene+ has more than 10 million members across Canada, allowing consumers to earn and redeem points for entertainment, travel, shopping, dining and banking. Members can also accelerate their earning power with seven Scotiabank credit and debit cards.

[Read more: "Who’s Tops in Loyalty Programs?"]

“With the Scene+ loyalty offering now in place across Empire’s family of stores in Atlantic Canada, we’re excited to give our members in Western Canada another fresh way to earn and redeem in every aisle,” said Tracey Pearce, president of Toronto-based Scene+. “Powered by some of Canada’s strongest and most beloved brands, including Scotiabank, Cineplex and now Empire, this rollout enables our Atlantic and Western Scene+ members to earn and redeem points often at hundreds of new grocery, pharmacy and convenience retail locations in those regions.”

For every 1,000 Scene+ points earned, consumers at participating locations can save $10 off their select purchases at Empire’s banner stores. There are multiple ways to earn Scene+ points at Empire stores:  

  • Personalized offers: Sign up to receive personalized offers from participating banners to earn points each week.
  • Everyday offers: Look for points offers on shelf tags with each visit to an Empire participating banner store.
  • Weekly promotions: Look for bonus points events at Empire’s participating banner stores and in the store’s fliers.
  • Members-only pricing: Receive special price and discount offers on select purchases.
  • Points acceleration opportunities: Customers can earn points faster on Empire store purchases made with a Scotiabank Scene+ credit or debit card, and they can redeem Scene+ points for an account credit on eligible Scotiabank debit and credit cards.

As a special bonus for its loyal customers, Empire is holding a contest that will run through Sept. 21 at participating Empire banner stores in Atlantic Canada. Customers will be entered for a chance to win free groceries for a year, valued at up to $14,000, when they scan their registered Scene+ card with their purchase.

Meanwhile for its fourth quarter ended May 7, Empire recorded net earnings of CAD $178.5 million (68 cents per share) compared with CAD $171.9 million (64 cents per share) last year. Sales for the quarter increased by 13.3%. Excluding fuel, gross margin increased by 17 basis points.

Stellarton, Nova Scotia-based Empire's key businesses are food retailing, through wholly owned subsidiary Sobeys Inc., and related real estate. With approximately CAD $30.2 billion in annual sales and CAD $16.6 billion in assets, Empire and its subsidiaries, franchisees and affiliates employ approximately 130,000 people. The company is No. 22 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

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