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Published: Friday, 5/3/2013

Giant Eagle doubles perks for discounts at GetGo gas stations

Grocery store raises discount on fuel to 20 cents per gallon

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
Three years after Giant Eagle shrank its gasoline perks,  its stores near Toledo are temporarily returning to a 20-cent discount. Three years after Giant Eagle shrank its gasoline perks, its stores near Toledo are temporarily returning to a 20-cent discount.
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Giant Eagle supermarkets, which halved its popular 20-cent-per-gallon discounts on gasoline nearly three years ago, said Thursday that it is temporarily restoring the 20-cent-per-gallon fuelperks! reward in its Toledo market during the month of May.

“As the warm weather has finally arrived and customers are planning their outdoor celebrations, we figured this was a great opportunity to take the fuelperks! earnings up to 20 cents,” said Rob Borella, a spokesman for Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle.

The higher discounts promotion begins today at the grocery retailer’s two Toledo-area stores, in Sylvania and Rossford, and runs through May 29. The discounts, which customers redeem at Giant Eagle’s two GetGo gas stations, will be good for 60 days after they are earned.

Customers of the retailer earn the fuelperks! discounts by purchasing items at the store. During the promotion they will get a 20-cent discount for every $50 spent in the store on grocery or perishable items, and also on gift cards, no-contract phones, prepaid wireless cards, store dry-cleaning services, and pharmacy prescriptions that aren’t funded by the state or federal government.

Fuelperks! discounts can be accumulated up to the price of a free tank of gas good for one vehicle up to a maximum of 30 gallons in a single transaction, the company said. The discounts are tracked through the retailer’s loyalty card and dispersed when the loyalty card is scanned before a gasoline purchase.

Giant Eagle operates mainly in western Pennsylvania and in northern and central Ohio.

Mr. Borella said the temporary 20-cent discount during May is available in only three markets: Toledo; Erie, Pa., and the Johnstown-Indiana-Altoona market in southwest Pennsylvania.

The tri-city area in southwest Pennsylvania is getting the higher discount to promote a new store format — 15,000-square-foot Giant Eagle Express stores — while Erie is getting the discount to promote the addition of GetGo fuel and convenience stores there.

Mr. Borella said the Toledo market is getting the discount on the heels of Giant Eagle recently implementing lower prices storewide, but it also is a reward for continued customer loyalty in the Toledo area.

“We’ve been in the Toledo market for a little more than a decade, and it has been a great experience for us,” Mr. Borella said.

Giant Eagle provided the 20-cent-per-gallon fuel discount for four years before cutting it to 10 cents in July, 2010. The company never gave an explanation for the change but analysts said at the time that the promotion was among the most generous in the country and likely was costing the retailer too much money.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.



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