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Published: Saturday, 5/19/2001

Food Town decides to give its Plus card a summer off

Shoppers who complain they can't get advertised specials at area supermarkets without revealing private information for a special grocery card will catch a break this summer.

Starting June 3, Food Town will temporarily discontinue the Food Town Plus card and give shoppers weekly specials without a card, as a few other retailers, like Meijer, Inc., do on a regular basis.

Pat Nowak, a Food Town spokesman, said the card is being halted to let Food Town's parent company, Spartan Stores, Inc., consolidate six shopper cards it has at groceries it owns.

Spartan, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., plans to have one card with similar benefits and discounts. Administering six programs has created problems for the parent firm, Ms. Nowak said.

The Food Town card, begun in 1993, is the area's oldest and has provided those willing to exchange personal information with discounts on food items and some services and goods, such as Toledo Mud Hens tickets.

Some benefits will continue this summer, using Food Town register receipts, Ms. Nowak said.

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