How Save Mart Is Gamifying Loyalty, Savings

Grocer kicks off 11-week Monopoly program, as well as dedicated game for associates
Emily Crowe
Multimedia Editor
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Save Mart Monopoly
Save Mart's exclusive Monopoly game will run from Aug. 16 to Oct. 31 and offers a total of $25 million in cash and prizes.

Shoppers, as well as associates, could win big at Save Mart and Lucky stores throughout California and Western Nevada as the company launches its Monopoly Kick Off the Savings collect-and-win game. Customers will receive a minimum of one Monopoly ticket each time they shop between Aug. 16 and Oct. 31, and can get bonus tickets by purchasing from thousands of participating items

Mark Van Buskirk, SVP of merchandising and marketing for Save Mart, told Progressive Grocer that the immersive promotion, which includes $25 million worth of discounts, offers and other prizes for customers, as well as a $100,000 grand prize, is truly immersive and is unlike anything the company has ever done before.

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“The entire store gets to participate in this. If you walk in the store, you will clearly know something is different and there’s something special happening,” Van Buskirk explained. “The Monopoly tickets are down virtually every aisle in the store. It encompasses the entire group of products that could be on a customer’s list.”

Not only does the promotion tie in nicely with the back-to-school season, but it also creates a fun shopping atmosphere for customers and gets the whole family involved, Van Buskirk said. Additionally, the draw of the Monopoly game can both drive loyalty with existing customers and draw in new consumers.

“We understand the power of the loyalty that this creates and the incremental trips that it drives,” Van Buskirk said. “We’re fortunate that we have really great relationships with our supplier partners because this wouldn’t come to life without the CPGs and their participation in the program.” 

The Monopoly program is being supported by a dynamic, fully integrated marketing campaign spanning television, radio, outdoor, streaming audio and video, social, and digital, all culminating in-store with a comprehensive communication package. This is the first time in several years that Save Mart has run TV ads against one of its promotions, and Van Buskirk hopes the move will help bring the game further to life.

Save Mart is also getting its store associates in on the action with a separate, dedicated game developed just for them. As such, one lucky Save Mart associate is going to win $20,000. 

“Getting our own store associates involved and engaged in the program helps them become ambassadors and advocates for how the program works,” Van Buskirk said. “That was important for us, to make sure they fully understood, but that there was something in it for them as well.”

Additionally, the omnichannel game lets shoppers play online by entering a game code marked on select Monopoly game tickets. Every game code played also enters players in a 2ndChance Sweepstakes. 

Based in Modesto, Calif., Save Mart operates more than 200 retail stores under the banners of Save Mart, Lucky California and FoodMaxx. In addition to its retail operation, the company also operates SMART Refrigerated Transport and is a partner in Super Store Industries, which owns and operates a distribution center in Lathrop, Calif., and the Sunnyside Farms dairy-processing plant in Turlock, Calif. Save Mart is No. 52 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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