Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM) will test a customer rewards program in its Princeton, New Jersey, store starting this month. This is the first time in the retailer's 30-year history that the chain focused on natural, organic grocery items will implement any type of customer loyalty program.
The trial will last six to eight months, expand to Philadelphia later this year and include a national rollout in late 2015, reported Bloomberg.
While other supermarkets have had rewards and loyalty programs in place for years, Whole Foods has thus far been able to survive without one. However, the recent uptake in the organic foods market has forced Whole Foods to make changes as it vies to compete with the many larger, cheaper retailers now offering health foods.
Whole Foods has been trying to shed its image and even announced it would lower prices and focus on digital innovation as a strategy to increase its share of the market. The retailer also recently announced a partnership with Instacart that will allow customers to get their groceries delivered in as little as an hour.
With the new rewards program, customers will now be able to earn points, by swiping a physical card or using a mobile app, that can be redeemed for discounts or in-store provisions, such as cooking classes.
-See this Bloomberg article
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