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Dollar General said this week that it is launching a new digital offers loyalty program, called DG Cash Back, enabling "Dollar General shoppers to earn cash back on eligible purchases in their DG Wallet."

The company said that it "is now live and supported through the Ibotta Performance Network (IPN)," which allows "digital offers to be delivered in a coordinated fashion across retailer platforms, large third-party publisher sites, and Ibotta’s leading direct-to-consumer properties."

The announcement says that "DG Cash Back provides many benefits — from closed-loop rewards driving consumers back to store and anti-stacking protection to zero coupon handling or processing fees.  The white-labeled strategy enables Dollar General to strengthen its relationships with shoppers and brands: helping raise awareness and incremental customer benefits."

Dollar General emphasizes in its announcement that CPG benefits include "exclusive access to Dollar General shoppers via the IPN," the ability to "drive efficient, incremental sales" and "track and optimize performance in real time."

KC's View:

Building a program that generates cash back for shoppers and bring them back into stores certainly is on-brand for Dollar General.  This also strikes me as being a timely introduction seeing that for the most part, the news about Dollar General stores lately has been bad news - it is being sued for deceptive pricing, its stores have been labeled as unsafe by workers, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has found numerous workplace safety violations and hit the company with millions in penalties.

So this is like the company is saying, "The stores are crappy and unsafe, so we'll pay customers to come back."  

I put "loyalty" in quotes because I would suggest that these are not really "loyalty" programs - they're just legal bribery schemes.  Nothing necessarily wrong with that, especially if they're on-brand, but programs like these aren't really about loyalty.  They're transactional rather than relational, tactical rather than strategic, noisy rather than musical.