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    United Supermarkets Unveils New Gift Card Program, 'Full Service Tuesdays'

    LUBBOCK, Texas -- Texas retailer United Supermarkets here is introducing several new services that its said will save shoppers time and gas money, just in time for the holiday shopping rush.

    LUBBOCK, Texas -- Texas retailer United Supermarkets here is introducing several new services that its said will save shoppers time and gas money, just in time for the holiday shopping rush.

    The regional operator said yesterday it is offering a gift card program at United Supermarkets and Market Street banner stores. United also reintroduced "Full Service Tuesdays," a program from the grocer's past that lets patrons pull into the gas station, get their tanks filled, and have their windshields washed while they wait.

    The chain's stores now carry more than 100 gift cards from some of America's leading retailers, the company said. The cards come in dollar amounts that range from $5 to $200, for purchases at restaurants, department stores, bookstores, and sporting goods dealers.

    The gift card program also includes expanded offerings of prepaid cell phone cards and financial services cards. "American Express is already available, and we expect to add both Visa and MasterCard in 2006," said Wes Jackson, s.v.p. of sales and merchandising, in a statement.

    The program is a partnership with Blackhawk Marketing, a division of Safeway Marketing Services. "We have exclusivity in our entire trade area with the exception of the DFW Metroplex, where Tom Thumb is also a participant," Jackson added. All United stores have been equipped with a freestanding rack of gift cards near the front of the store, while all Market Street stores have gift card end-caps. Additional cards are located at check stands and, when appropriate, greeting card aisles.

    For United's special "Full Service Tuesdays," all United Supermarkets and Market Street locations will have extra personnel on duty at the fuel stations every Tuesday, to fill tanks and clean windshields from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    United Supermarkets is a family-owned company with 47 stores in 26 markets throughout north and west Texas. The company operates three distinct formats: United Supermarkets, Market Street, and United Supermercado.

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