Monday, March 20, 2017

Gas discounts

Even across the seaway from HQ isn't this high!
Many chains around the country have offered gas discounts for several years now.  Some have their own brand like Tops shown here, while others partner with a third party, as some of Tops' former sister chains use Shell (which left Syracuse decades ago) if not have their own (like Martins).  Price Chopper was one of the first in Upstate NY to have a program in collaboration with participating Sunocos.  Valero had one each at Strupplers and Village Market IGA in Oswego County until both became Tops in the past couple years.  In the Hudson Valley where Tops have grown south of former Grand Unions they acquired, they bought some of their ex-sister chains stores after they merged with another from Europe because of overlap and FTC regulations, and there shoppers save on gift cards to be used at area Shell, Irving (I don't even see these in their native Canada when I go, and doing the math with metric measurements, it costs much more), BP (left Syracuse along with their sisters Arco and Amoco) and Gulf (recently back in CNY) stations.  Tops in my neck of the woods and Price Chopper in theirs let customers who don't drive use points to save on bus passes so they don't go to waste if they don't have access to someone elses vehicle, but it only makes sense if you live there.  Someone in Hannafords ad said that the discounts barely make a dent (they don't even believe in a card).  ShopRite have it in a different way and I've seen it as they recently returned to Albany County (never knew they were there in the past as I heard of them from downstate and went down the river later).  Various other chains and indies nationwide will have a promotion somewhere.  Tops let you earn more points with manufacturers' coupons while Price Choppers kiosks will provide a store one to use when you spend a certain amount.  With the latter I try to get at least 20¢ off a gallon.  At Speedway it takes a few months just to even get to 10¢ off but I keep at it until I reach it.  Back at Tops, at the end of an earning cycle, there's a two-week hiatus, and you have to use the remaining 100s of points or they will be wiped at the start of the next period.  Back at the starting gate.
Prices fluctuate between events overseas and the economy.  Another rise is inevitable, but at least there's a way to keep the price down a little.  On the west coast, they could use this even more.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, ShopRite just gives 5 cents off when you use the card at their station (was 10 cents when they first opened in Albany).
    Stop & Shop used to do that (the 5 cents off) as well, in addition to the points but stopped.

    ShopRite was in the Albany area in the 70's into the 80's. At the time the stores in the area were part of the Big V group (most ShopRite stores are owned by members of the Wakefern Cooperative, though some, including the new Albany area are owned by the cooperative itself, as a subsidiary called SRS (ShopRite Stores)).

    Anyhow, Big V got into financial trouble over the years and one of those times they closed all the stores in Albany (but left the Hudson location and for a time Catskill as well) and stores farther south. They looked at pulling out of the cooperative, and going with another brand, but eventually Wakefern wound up buying them out and adding their stores to the SRS group.

    If you are familiar with Albany market, some of the old SR loations were:
    - Western Ave (building now has several small shops including Boston Market, the Rite Aid was an add on to the original SR building)
    - Wolf Road - Now Bed Bath & Beyond
    - Menands - Was until recently a Price Chopper (closed in Jan 2017).
    - East Greenbush - Across from Stewarts, now offices (their store was the "right" end as you look from 9&20).
    Others as well, those are just the ones I remember at the moment.