Ace bolsters loyalty program with Visa
Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corp. is bringing its 19-million strong Ace Rewards customer loyalty program to a new level, with the help of Visa.
The new Ace Rewards Visa has been launched nationwide — marking the first time for a hardware co-op to pair up with one of the big payment networks with a rewards card. Issued by U.S. Bank, the Visa card is available in a consumer version, plus a version designed for small business owners.
“The launch of our Ace Rewards Visa is a strategic tool to increase sales and customer loyalty,” said John Surane, VP marketing, merchandising and paint for Ace. “It is a competitive differentiator and will attract new customers to our brand, as well as provide yet another benefit to current Ace Rewards members.”
The card is offered in conjunction with the existing Ace Rewards customer loyalty program, which currently is available in 2,600 stores across the country and includes 19 million members. Those members may use the card as a way to earn more rewards — both for purchases at Ace Hardware stores and anywhere else Visa is accepted, according to Ace.
Neither card has an annual fee, and cardholders may earn up to 5% in reward dollars to redeem at Ace Hardware stores, 2% on gas and grocery purchases and 1% anywhere Visa is accepted. In addition, cardholders receive a $10 bonus coupon upon signing up for the card.
The version of the card designed for small business owners allows them to obtain additional cards with set spending caps for employees, and then receive detailed card statements to track employee spending.
“While the consumer card helps our customers take care of their homes and get on to the things that matter most in their lives, the small business card provides the type of features that these businesses need to help manage their business, while also stimulating Ace loyalty,” Surane said. “The Ace Rewards Visa is another way that we can exceed our customers’ service expectations, while simultaneously promoting the strength of our brand.”
True Value moves closer to e-commerce
True Value Co.’s 2010 Fall Market in Las Vegas will include sessions called "Get on Board with True Value E-Commerce." Based on the seminar’s description, True Value will introduce e-commerce this fall, allowing customers to order online and pick up merchandise at the member’s store.
Participation in True Value e-commerce will be optional, but training will be required, according to the company’s early announcements.
True Value has been moving toward e-commerce for some time. "This is something we believe we need to do to be competitive,” Lyle Heidemann, president and CEO, told HCN at the co-op’s last fall conference. "You have to be there."
Also at the show’s Las Vegas market Sept. 13-15, True Value will introduce its new and improved True Value Rewards program.
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