Price Chopper Signs Up SavingStars

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Price Chopper Supermarkets reports that as of this week almost 7,800 shoppers had registered for SavingStar, a national paperless grocery coupon service launched in April.

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Price Chopper Supermarkets [3] reports that as of this week almost 7,800 shoppers had registered for SavingStar, a national paperless grocery coupon service launched in April.

Heidi Reale, Price Chopper's director of marketing and consumer insights, told SN the chain continues to evaluate the service, but "the initial growth is extremely promising."

Early last month, Price Chopper became the first retailer to offer a coupon for a private label product via SavingStar — $1 off Central Market Classics ice cream. The redemption rate was about 12%, said Reale.

SavingStar, based in Waltham, Mass., announced last week that it has 500,000 consumers registered to use the service at more than 100 supermarket and drugstore chains operating over 24,000 stores. In addition to Price Chopper, participating chains include Food Lion, Giant Eagle, Harris Teeter, Hy-Vee, Stop & Shop, Winn-Dixie and Rite Aid.

Shoppers find national brand coupons at www.savingstar.com [4], which last week featured 36 coupons offering $33 in total savings. Manufacturers pay SavingStar 50 cents per redeemed coupon; retailers are not charged to be in the program. SavingStar said redemption rates average between 5% and 10%.

Shoppers download the offers to their loyalty card and redeem them at the checkout, with the savings added to a SavingStar account rather than deducted from their bill.

Once at least $5 is accumulated, shoppers can select where they want the funds to be transferred: a bank or PayPal account, an Amazon gift card or the American Forests charity.

Price Chopper promoted SavingStar via Facebook, Twitter and website blogs, carefully explaining the redemption policy, said Reale. "We were concerned that shoppers would think that savings would come off at the register. So we had to be clear that it allows you to create an account and save money over time."