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Loblaw Announces PC Optimum Loyalty Program

PC Optimum Loyalty Program
Source: PC Optimum

Shoppers Optimum and PC Plus, join together as the “PC Optimum” Loyalty Program

The new PC Optimum had a rocky start, according to CBC News, eight people across Canada who say they’ve each had more than 100,000 points stolen from their accounts after Loblaws merged its two rewards programs — PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum — to form PC Optimum on Feb. 1. The reported thefts are just one more problem plaguing Loblaws, which is already dealing with technical glitches with PC Optimum, and the fallout from a bread price-fixing scandal, including related fallout over asking some people to send ID to collect a $25 gift card as compensation for the overpriced bread.

CBC News contacted Loblaws and provided a list of the eight people interviewed for the story. Since then, most got their points back plus instructions on how to secure their accounts.

“We have strong security measures in place across our digital platforms and take any sign of unusual activity very seriously,” spokesperson Catherine Thomas said.

She said Loblaws is committed to helping everyone facing points problems but acknowledged some members have faced “unacceptable delays.”

With the new program, customers can collect and redeem points at participating locations, including Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws, Pharmaprix, and No Frills. Loblaw, which announced the merger back in November, assures that customers’ existing points will be transferred at full value via a ratio of 1:1.

The current programs, PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum, have respectively 8 million and 11 million members – who, last year, redeemed points every two seconds of the day, to save money on their necessities and indulgences. The programs ranked first and second when Canadians are asked which loyalty programs provide them the best value.


“Retail is increasingly about customer relationships and loyalty will be central to the future of personalized value and experiences,” said Galen G. Weston, Executive Chairman and CEO, Loblaw Companies Limited. “Keeping customers at the heart of our thinking, we created the single PC Optimum loyalty program to give Canadians the value they have come to trust, with the ability to earn more points and redeem them in more stores than ever before.”

Members of the Shoppers Optimum and PC Plus programs can continue to earn and redeem points as usual until the February 1, 2018 launch of the new program, when the full value of their existing points will convert to PC Optimum points.

“We know how much Canadians care about their loyalty points, so we created the PC Optimum program by listening to our customers,” said Jim Noteboom, Senior Vice President, Loyalty and Consumer Insights, Loblaw Companies Limited. “They want a single, easy-to-understand program, covering our entire assortment of food, health, beauty and apparel. Most of all, the PC Optimum program will deliver on their expectation of equal value when the programs come together, with additional options to save even more.”

The PC Optimum program will include elements of the Shoppers Optimum and PC Plus loyalty programs that Canadians love, including weekly personalized offers, the ability to redeem points for almost anything in our stores, and exclusive points-earning and points-redemption events.

PC Optimum Rewards
Source: PC Optimum

When it launches on February 1, 2018, the PC Optimum program will provide a range of features requested by customers:

  • Equal value when their PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum points are converted to PC Optimum points.
  • Just one card or app for loyalty offers across the Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart network.
  • The ability to earn and redeem points in nearly 2,500 stores and Loblaw-owned online services: Real Canadian Superstore, Atlantic Superstore, City Market, No Frills, Independent, Zehrs, Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, Shoppers Home Health Care and online at Loblaw-owned Click & Collect websites, joefresh.com and beautyBoutique.ca.
  • The ability to redeem faster. With the PC Plus program, members can redeem only once they reach 20,000 points. The threshold will be lowered to 10,000 with the PC Optimum program.
  • 50 per cent more points (15 points vs. the current 10 points) for almost every dollar spent at Shoppers Drug Mart.
  • The PC Optimum program will have a single, simple redemption table – i.e. 10,000 points equals $10 of value.
  • President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard® cardholders will earn up to 30 PC Optimum points for every dollar they spend across Loblaw’s retail network, with an additional 15 PC Optimum points for every dollar spent on eligible purchases at Shoppers Drug Mart / Pharmaprix stores. PC Financial has provided Canadians with more than $1 billion in free groceries.

Loblaw has begun notifying members of both PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum of the pending change. The company will continue to share details with members over the coming months. More information is available at www.pcoptimum.ca.

In Quebec, due to the difference in laws applicable to loyalty programs, the Pharmaprix Optimum program will end on January 31, 2018.  Members of the Pharmaprix Optimum program will have until May 2, 2018 to convert their points at full value to PC Optimum points or redeem them online or in store.

Who is Customer Insight Group?

Customer Insight Group is a Colorado-based loyalty marketing agency leading the way in helping companies engage, keep and grow profitable customer relationships.

A lot of companies are testing different loyalty program strategies,  the more promising and successful ones seem to share some common characteristics. Learn the seven lessons from the innovators in the Making Loyalty Pay: 7 Proven Strategies presentation.

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Mary Shaw