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CINCINNATI -- In an apparent counterpunch aimed at Giant Eagle, The Kroger Co. here hosted a fuel-based incentive promotion over the weekend in the Columbus, Ohio market that rewarded customers with $5, $10, or $15 worth of free gas when they spent at least $60, $100, or $160, respectively, in a single transaction.
Using their loyalty cards, Kroger shoppers will have until Oct. 14 to redeem the free fuel at the chain’s locations with gas pumps.
Kroger spokesman Dale Hollandsworth was quoted in local press reports as saying that the promotion aimed to give the chain a “competitive advantage” in its market share turf war with Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle, whose highly successful fuelperks! customer loyalty program rewards grocery shoppers with 10-cent gasoline discounts for every $50 worth of purchases made inside of its supermarkets and GetGo c-stores.
Giant Eagle fired the first salvo in the central Ohio gasoline discount rewards imbroglio in May when it doubled its fuelperks! gasoline discount to 20 cents per gallon.
Both Kroger’s free fuel promotion and Giant Eagle’s double-rewards offer are exclusive to central Ohio stores.
Kroger has 15 stores with fuel stations in the Columbus market -- seven of which offer offer E85 ethanol fuel -- while Giant Eagle has 17.