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The Tampa Tribune reports that when Kash n’ Karry Food Stores opens its first rebranded unit as Sweetbay Supermarkets, the new format will not accept the loyalty marketing cards that the company has used in the past.

This is not a small change. Over the next four years, all the more than 100 Kash n’ Karry units in Florida will be shifted to the new brand identity, and the intention is to eliminate the card program as the chain focuses on freshness and variety, touting itself as a “lifestyle marketer.”

This isn’t to suggest that the company will have higher prices in its new incarnation. Rather, according to executives, it will make its competitive prices available to everyone, not just card holders.
KC's View:
It is curious that some of the stories that we’ve read about this decision seem to suggest that this is a subtraction. This proves only that they don’t get it…that in fact, this is a positive move and a statement of confidence.

It takes the courage of your convictions to make a move like this, and we applaud the effort.

The best way to encourage loyalty in a consumer is to offer a compelling shopping experience with the products and services and, yes, even prices that the customer wants. This isn’t to say that cards are a bad idea, but for many retailers they’ve been a distraction, convincing the chains that they were doing loyalty marketing when they were just using a new method to offer coupons.