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The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that "in a new twist on giving," Kroger is "rolling out a nationwide program that lets loyalty card holders select charities to which Kroger will donate, based on dollars they spend in stores.

"Strategy, not sentiment, is driving the move. The desire to easily contribute to a favorite good cause is becoming an increasingly important motivator of human behavior, the experts say. 'Our objective is to find ways to make our shoppers even more loyal,' said Lynn Marmer, Kroger’s group vice president for corporate affairs."

The story goes on to say that "by the end of next year, most Kroger divisions will contribute to a combined $50 million that will be given to schools and other nonprofits based on local shoppers’ charitable preferences and their shopping habits. Kroger’s Community Rewards program will account for one-fifth of the grocer’s total $250 million-a-year charitable activity."

Kroger, the Enquirer reports, has "quietly" rolled out the program to about half its operating divisions, preferring to let community groups and churches to the marketing of the initiative. Next year, as the program expands to the West, Pacific Northwest and Southeast US, the company says it will get more aggressive.
KC's View:
Not an entirely original concept, though it is said the national aspects of the Kroger initiative will really make it different. I think it is a very good idea - as a customer, I'm willing to change my shopping habits if I am convinced that one retailer or another is listening to me when it comes to giving to - and investing in - specific charities.