Price Chopper announced today that it's discounting its gasoline discount program (press release post jump).
Starting May 13, AdvantEdge card holders will earn a 10 cent/gallon gasoline discount for every $100 they spend. The current rate is 10 cents off per gallon at Sunoco for every $50 spent at Price Chopper. (It's been that way since PC expanded the program to this area in 2009.)
The supermarket chain is trying to frame the gas discount cut as a shift to more discounts on food. It says it's in the process of lowering prices on 10,000 products. Said Price Chopper in response to critical comments on the company's Facebook page:
We have had an overwhelming number of customers tell us that they want to save more money on food. We are lowering prices all over the store and our ads will be hotter than ever. ... We will also be offering even more ways to earn fuel rewards in our ads though the purchases of specific products...Check it out this Sunday!
It's fair to say the change wasn't going over well with people there (understatement).
The gasoline discount isn't some sort of fundamental human right. The company doesn't owe it to anyone. But it did help mitigate Price Chopper's often higher non-sale prices (though not necessarily enough to bring them in line with competitors). It'll be interesting to see if the change actually does result in lower food prices -- and in what way (sales, coupons, whatever).
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