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OregonLive reports that just three months after Supervalu sold its Albertsons stores to Albertsons LLC, the company has announced that it is discontinuing the use of loyalty cards, saying that customers won't need them to get lower prices.

Here's what Albertsons is saying on its website:

"This week, we began notifying customers that our Preferred Card is no longer required at our stores to receive sales prices on items. We know you’ve had your card for years, and you’re used to having to use our card when you shop to get a great deal.

"Once upon a time, a shopper card set customers aside. It meant that you were taking extra steps to save money, and we offered special items that were only available at special prices when you had the special card.

"The card isn’t so special anymore. Everyone has one. So we want to take the special step of not requiring one anymore.

"Our customers are the only reasons that our doors open every day. Because of you, we exist. It’s that simple. We feel it’s our job to give everyone a great shopping experience, and that includes offering great prices to everyone."
KC's View:
When loyalty cards are just glorified ways of offering discounts, then the reason for them really is diminished ... because they aren't really about loyalty. They're about facilitating cherry-pickers.

Said it before and I'll say it again. Real loyalty marketing demonstrates to the shoppers that the store is loyal to them ... as opposed to using discounts to foster some sort of illusory loyalty.