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    Karns Enhances Shopper Engagement, Community Donations Administration

    In celebration of its 50th anniversary, central Pennsylvania independent Karns Quality Foods and Market Basket Rewards (MBR) have teamed up to launch the Fresh Experts Rewards program, which allows shoppers to earn a point for every dollar spent.

    In celebration of its 50th anniversary, central Pennsylvania independent Karns Quality Foods and Market Basket Rewards (MBR) have teamed up to launch the Fresh Experts Rewards program, which allows shoppers to earn a point for every dollar spent.

    The retailer has maintained a strong market share since its inception in 1959 through great service, quality products and engaging shopper promotions. According to Scott Karns, president of the second-generation, family-owned business, “We had been looking for a solution to garner loyalty that was going to differentiate us in our marketplace.”

    Calling the loyalty programs of the market’s two dominant supermarket competitors, Giant-Carlisle and Weis Markets, “‘penalty cards’ that are required in order to get their sale prices,” Karns explained: “We wanted to offer something that was going to be more of a ‘thank you’ card for our customers. MBR offered us a platform that enables us to maintain our ‘no card required’ philosophy while gathering customer data and rewarding shoppers for their patronage. Our program is flexible, affordable and allows us to enhance our identity by changing on the fly.”

    Customers have embraced the new rewards program, said Karns, adding that the grocer’s seven stores have seen significant sales increases during the free gift event and Bonus Basket promotion, stemming from MBR’s new CRM tools that offer the chain a variety of advantages.

    “Administrating our ‘One for the Schools,’ 1 percent rebate donation program, via the Karns Rewards platform, saves us a tremendous amount of time and labor,” said Ruth Rudderow, Karn’s EVP of community and employee relations. “Since 1996, schools have been dropping off boxes filled with receipts they had collected from parents who had shopped in our stores. We had to manually create totals and award donations accordingly. Now, shopper purchases are calculated electronically via our database and totals for each school are generated easily. Everyone is happier.”

    Having begun business as a single butcher shop, Mechanicsburg, Pa.-based Karns Quality Foods now operates seven full-service supermarkets in the Harrisburg, Pa., area.

    Troy, Mich.-based Market Basket Rewards enables independent grocery retailers through the synergy of seamless data acquisition, shopper communication tools and value-driven loyalty programs. It gathers, manages and reports customer data back to retailers for use in targeted marketing campaigns, as well as administering reward promotions to drive sales and traffic.

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