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To help ease the pain for shoppers facing skyrocketing gas prices, as well as to promote its fuelperks! discount program, Bi-Lo gave away free gas to 300 shoppers at three separate Spinx redemption sites in Greenville, Simpsonville and Spartanburg, S.C., on March 23–25.
Anticipation built in the hours before each event through the release of clues starting at 7 a.m. on the radio each day. Clues were revealed before they aired on the radio on the grocer’s Facebook and Twitter pages beginning at 6:30 a.m. the morning of each event.
All of the buzz generated by the gas giveaway events and the unveiling of the clues led to an increase in subscribers to the Bi-Lo SuperSaver Facebook page, with more than 3,200 new fans after each day’s “free fuel frenzy” event. Further, the food retailer’s fuelperks! Facebook fan page experienced a total increase of 1,662 new followers, almost doubling the page’s popularity by the end of the events.
“Through social interaction, interest and feedback via our Facebook and Twitter pages, Bi-Lo learned that the overall perception of the gas giveaway events was extremely positive,” noted John Conroy, the grocer’s director of marketing. “Facebook and Twitter virtually came “alive” for Bi-Lo as customers worked together to uncover the secret redemption sites each day.”
Customers who figured out the top-secret gas station location began lining up as early as at 8:30 a.m. the morning of each event, causing traffic snarls. Participants also received free T-shirts and refreshments from Spinx and Bi-Lo as they waited to fuel up for free.
For those who weren’t the first 100 customers in line to receive a voucher for free gas, Bi-Lo still offers fuelperks!, which enables shoppers to earn five cents off the price of a gallon of gas for every $50 they spend in-store. Since its 2008 launch, the program has saved Bi-Lo customers in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina over $62 million in gas, according to the company.
“Bi-Lo has always been committed to helping people save money without sacrificing the things that matter most,” added Conroy. “Our fuelperks! program allows customers to save on money and on gas just by shopping at Bi-Lo.”
Mauldin, S.C.-based Bi-Lo operates 207 supermarkets in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee, employing about 15,100 people.