Fuel/Grocery Brands & Loyalty Programs, Part 2

Part
01
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Part
01

Company and Brand Overview - Shell

Shell has 25,000 Shell-branded gas stations spread across all the 50 states in the US. Other details on the company are provided in the attached spreadsheet and a summary presented below.

Summary

  • Shell has 25,000 Shell-branded gas stations in the United States.
  • It is the only major oil and gas company with operations in all 50 states.
  • The company has 22,000 employees in the United States.
  • Shell US headquarters are in Houston, Texas.
  • Shell strives to reinforce its position as the leading energy corporation by providing oil, low-carbon energy, and gas amid the shifting world’s energy system.
  • Shell is committed to offering the society more and cleaner, convenient, and competitive energy. Its energy products are designed to reduce the Net Carbon Footprint.

Research Strategy

The research team was unsuccessful in obtaining information on the number of Shell gas stations in every state. One of our strategies involved searching the company’s website and market reports on oil and gas market share among the leading brands. However, no information on the specific number of gas stations in each state was found. The search only yielded the insight that Shell has gas stations in all the 50 states.

Part
02
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Part
02

Company and Brand Overview - Exxon Mobil

All the requested information about Exxon Mobil is included in the attached spreadsheet. Additionally, we provided our research findings below.

Exxon Mobil

1. Locations

  • Exxon Mobil has 12,229 stores/gas stations in the U.S.
  • We were able to find the number of Exxon Mobil locations in 14 states. An explanation of why we couldn't find the breakdown for the other states is discussed in the Research Strategy section below.
  • The following are the number of locations by state: Texas (1,911), Florida (960), New York (749), Virginia (686), North Carolina (678), Maine (28), South Dakota (27), Nevada (19), Oklahoma (6), and Nebraska (1).
  • Exxon Mobil does not maintain any locations in Iowa, Kansas, Hawaii, or Alaska.
  • We were also able to find the 10 U.S. cities in which Exxon Mobil has the most locations, which are as follows: Houston (190), Dallas (100), Miami (80), Austin (Texas) (77), Jacksonville (Florida) (67), San Antonio (63), Charlotte (North Carolina) (62), Memphis (56), Detroit (53), and Chicago (49).

2. Headquarters & Employees

  • Exxon Mobil is headquartered in Irving, Texas.
  • Exxon Mobil has 71,000 employees. Of those employees, over 2,200 have a PhD and over 16,000 are engineers.

3. Brand Vision & Proposition

  • Exxon Mobil's brand vision, in the company's own words, is as follows: "Exxon Mobil Corporation is committed to being the world's premier petroleum and chemical manufacturing company. To that end, we must continuously achieve superior financial and operating results while adhering to high ethical standards."
  • Exxon Mobil's brand proposition is two-fold, as it involves the company's brand status and the accessibility it offers to consumers. With regard to brand status, Exxon Mobil emphasizes that "[i]t is the largest public oil and gas company in the world", has the eight-largest revenue of any company globally, has the fifth-largest market cap among public companies, and is the largest petroleum product refiner globally. With regard to accessibility, Exxon Mobil ensures easy access to its offerings through its 20,251 global locations. Furthermore, the company offers an array of convenient ways to pay for products, such as through its branded credit cards and Speedpass program, among other methods.

4. Store Hours & Formats

  • Typical store hours for Exxon Mobile are 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Exxon Mobil's store formats are convenience stores, some of which have a McDonald's or Subway restaurant on-site.

Research Strategy

We were only able to find a breakdown of Exxon Mobil locations in 14 states. We looked for a breakdown for all U.S. states by using five research methods. First, we reviewed Exxon Mobil's most-recent annual report (2018), but that information was not provided therein. Second, we used the company's station-locator tool and tried to find the number of stations/stores per state through that method. However, that approach did not provide the number of locations per state. Third, we tried looking for that information on the company's website, but only the total number of locations was mentioned there. Fourth, we tried to find the information in an article, but the only articles we found provided the total U.S. locations, which we had already identified. Fifth, we looked for additional, pre-compiled lists of the company's U.S. locations, which is how we found the number of locations in the states listed above. However, that list we cited to only provided a breakdown for 14 states because the rest of the information was paywalled, as were the other pre-compiled lists from other sources that we found.
Part
03
of fourteen
Part
03

Company and Brand Overview - Circle K

The store format used by Circle K comprises convenience stores with restaurants and gas stations which was implemented as part of its rebranding efforts. Details of the company have been presented in the appropriate rows and columns of the attached spreadsheet.

Summary of Findings


Part
04
of fourteen
Part
04

Company and Brand Overview - Southeast Grocers

Southeastern Grocers is a supermarket chain that is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. Row 6 of the spreadsheet contains information on the company.

Information on Southeastern Grocers

  • The company has 704 stores across seven states in the US.
  • Southeastern Grocers has approximately 50,000 employees throughout its locations.
  • The vision of the brand is "to be a leading neighborhood grocer in every market" they serve by earning the trust and loyalty of their customers, business partners, and neighborhoods every day.
  • Southeastern Grocers has mainly utilized the grocery store and supermarket formats for their stores with in-store pharmacies and liquor stores.
  • The company claims that they are a brand with more than 90 years of experience that has a "deep heritage, strong neighborhood ties, and a proud history of giving back," with strong commitments to providing the "best possible quality and value" to customers.
Part
05
of fourteen
Part
05

Company and Brand Overview - Kroger

Kroger has 3,514 retail outlets in the United States and the company's headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. More details are on row 7, columns B-I, T of this spreadsheet.

Krogers Total Number Of Stores Or Gas Stations

  • On 31st of December 2019, Kroger had 3,514 retail stores in the United States. The company has its headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. Kroger has 1,537 supermarket fuel centers in the United States.
  • The company has over 450,000 employees across its United States outlets. (2)

Krogers Mission

  • The company's vision/mission is "to be a leader in the distribution and merchandising of food, pharmacy, health, and personal care items, seasonal merchandise, and related products and services."
  • For honesty, the company encourages doing the right things, telling the truth. Integrity, the company encourages living their values in all they do, a unified approach to how we do business and treat each other. Respect for others is paramount, and this is done through valuing opinions, property, and perspectives of others.
  • Kroger has a diversity that reflects a workplace that includes a variety of people from different backgrounds and cultures, diversity of opinions, and thoughts. The company encourages safety by expecting staff to watch out for others, being secure and safe in the workplace. Inclusion matters, "every voice matters, working together works, encouraging everyone's involvement, being the best person you can be."

Krogers Brand Proposition

  • The company Kroger has a new logo and brand identity that reflects the company's "food first" culture. The company's new slogan, "Fresh for Everyone," is committed to giving "fresh, affordable and delicious food" across its selected outlets. The blue color is still Kroger's brand heritage of food savviness, and it also represents safety and trust to customers. Kroger's new 20+ banner will keep existing under the same name while incorporating the new brand attributes.

Krogers Store Hours

  • Kroger normally works from 5:00 am to 1:00 am from Sunday to Saturdays.

Kroger Store Formats

  • The company has several store formats with options for shopping online or at the stores. The Kroger grocery retailer offers groceries, ready-made meals, basic health services, jewelry, and fuel.

Research Methodology

In a bid to unearth the Kroger store formats, the team attempted to look for pre-compiled data from news publications and the company's website, but there was no data in the public domain on Kroger's store format. We had to expand beyond our basic research culture of sticking with the normal 24 months period to see if we could gain insight into previous publications that have discussed the subject matter. We were able to unearth a publication in 2015 that had Kroger's store formats, due to the constraint of lack of data in the public domain, we had no option to reference this publication in our research analysis.


Part
06
of fourteen
Part
06

Company and Brand Overview - Albertsons/Safeway

Safeway is focused on providing neighborhoods with the "freshest groceries at great value". The company operates grocery stores and supermarkets in multiple locations throughout the US. In row 8, columns B-I of the attached project spreadsheet, requested details on the company Safeway has been provided. A summary of key findings has also been outlined below.

Safeway

  • Safeway is headquartered in Pleasanton, California.
  • The company has 894 stores in the US.
  • The largest number of stores in one state is 240 in the state of California.
  • Safeway employs more than 31,000 people throughout its locations.
  • The company's propositions to its customers are accessibility, convenience, cost reduction, and risk reduction.
Part
07
of fourteen
Part
07

Company and Brand Overview - Ahold Delhaize/Giant

Giant Food Stores is dedicated to providing top quality for its customers and associates. The company is recognized as a market leader and one of the best brands in Pennsylvania. More details of the brand have been provided in the attached spreadsheet.

Summary of Findings

  • Giant Food has a total of 316 stores in the United States, located in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, and Delaware.
  • Giant Food is headquartered in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, United States
  • The company has 32,000 employees.
  • Giant Food Stores has no direct vision statement. According to the company's mission statement, it is committed to making its stores a better place for their associates, community, and customers. It cares for the environment, and their products are sourced responsibly.
  • The company is regarded as a market leader and is among the best brands in Pennsylvania.

Research Strategy

Ahold Delhaize operates two brands of Giant stores (Giant Food and Giant Food Stores) so, to provide the total number of locations for the entire brand, we added the number of stores by each brand. Also, Giant Food and Giant Food Stores does not provide a breakdown of number of gas stations by state after combing through the brands store locations, website, and media articles.
  • Giant Food = 161 stores
  • Giant Food Stores = 155 stores
  • Total number of stores = 161 + 155 = 316 stores


Part
08
of fourteen
Part
08

Loyalty Program Overview - Shell

Shell offers consumers a loyalty rewards program called Club Smart that allows consumers to collect points based on what they spend on qualifying products at qualifying Shell locations. Consumers can convert or redeem loyalty rewards points for a wide variety of select rewards or special offers. The Shell Smart Club loyalty program allows motorists to save money on fuel and groceries, and to redeem earned loyalty points for unique and exciting rewards across 16 different countries. The full details of this report may be found in the attached spreadsheet.

LOYALTY MEMBERS

EARN AND USE REWARDS

  • Consumers can scan or swipe a physical card to earn rewards when making a purchase at a participating Shell location.
  • Consumers can use a digital card on a personal device, or on the Shell mobile app in order to earn points when making a purchase.
  • Some consumers can earn Shell loyalty points by making a purchase with a partner and by swiping or scanning a third party rewards card.
  • Points may be redeemed by logging into Shell's website or mobile app and selecting a qualifying reward from the rewards catalog page.

DIVIDEND RATE

REDEMPTION REQUIREMENTS

  • Loyalty members must have a minimum point balance of 50 points in order to redeem points for rewards.
  • Members may earn up to a maximum point balance of 17,500 points.
  • Qualifying members may redeem their points and pick up their rewards at participating Shell locations.
  • Members may redeem their points for rewards and have their items shipped and delivered to their door.

STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES

  • Changing consumer preferences and a change in demand for fuel and solvent products represents a weakness for the current loyalty program.

PROGRAM AWARDS

FEEDBACK

  • The Shell loyalty rewards program has received a variety of mixed reviews from consumers.
  • Some consumers were satisfied with the dollar per gallon that they were able to save by using the loyalty rewards program.
  • Some satisfied consumers elaborated that they were earning a higher number of points and a greater savings on a per purchase basis over an extended period.
  • Other consumers were not satisfied with the loyalty rewards program and complained that the program was confusing or misleading.
  • Other consumers expressed concern regarding the use of other rewards programs, and highlighted that by using the Shell loyalty program that it was counterproductive to other loyalty rewards programs and created an opportunity cost and economic loss to the consumer.
Part
09
of fourteen
Part
09

Loyalty Program Overview - Exxon Mobil

ExxonMobil offers a program named ExxonMobil Rewards+. Members earn points by purchasing fuel or convenience store items. There are no restrictions on who can become a member, and ExxonMobil stations nationwide participate on the program. With a dividend rate of 2%, ExxonMobil has partnered with the company Albertsons to expand their rewards program. While Exxon has been an industry leader for decades, its performance declined in 2019. Full details may be found in the attached spreadsheet.

ExxonMobil Rewards+ Program Overview

  • Exxon Mobil offers a program named Exxon Mobil Rewards+. Members of the program can earn points when they make purchases for both fuel and convenience store items. The points can later be exchanged by savings in future purchases.
  • The ExxonMobil Rewards+ program does not have restrictions for applying members.
  • ExxonMobil offers the ExxonMobill Rewards+ program nationwide. There are approximately 11,000 ExxonMobil stations.
  • Members of the program receive 2 points for each $1 spent at either the car washes or the convenience store. Furthermore, they receive 3 points per each gallon of fuel they purchase. They can get $1 in savings per 100 points they accumulate.
  • In 2018, they initiated a partnership with Albertsons supermarkets. Therefore, points can be earned in 15 of the states in which Albertsons has locations.
  • According to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), ExxonMobil places great importance in discipline and excellence, and it has been known in the past as a market leader. However, according to the reports published in 2019, it is no longer among the top 10 companies established by the Standard & Poor's500 Index.
  • The app offered to the users, which is used to earn points from the ExxonMobil Rewards+ program has received positive and negative reviews on the Apple Store and the Google Play Store. According to some users, it is a very useful app, which has the added benefit of making the process of buying fuel and earning points easier. However, other users have faced numerous issues due to malfunctions of the app.

Research Strategy

We first initiated a general search about the loyalty of rewards programs offered by Exxon Mobil. There was no information regarding the dividend rate of the program. Therefore, a mathematical calculation was done using the data available regarding points earned and how these were redeemed into money savings from purchases. Through research of notices made by ExxonsMobil and numerous news outlets, we were unable to find any evidence of any recognition awarded to ExxonMobil Rewards+ program. This is likely caused by how recently the program was implemented. After exhaustive research of platforms focused on reviews of customers such as Consumer Reports, CNET, and TrustPilot, we were unable to find reviews regarding the rewards program. However, there are reviews available about the app, which was developed mainly for customers to have access to the rewards program.

Part
10
of fourteen
Part
10

Loyalty Program Overview - Circle K

In the USA (and surrounding areas), Circle K offers a loyalty program called Easy Rewards, which is available via a card or downloading the Android/iOS app. Please refer to the attached spreadsheet for full details.

Easy Rewards

  • The predominant loyalty program is called Easy Rewards, that is based in the USA, however, Circle K locations in other countries also have other loyalty programs. But, the focus of the research is based on Easy Rewards as it is the main loyalty program that is featured on the parent company website.
  • Members earn 10 points per gallon, and 20 points per dollar for food/non-alcoholic beverages. Members get $2 cash savings for every 2,000 points earnt. In addition, there are other benefits, like Frequency Clubs & Offers, and Sweepstakes and Rewards.
  • Based on an average fuel per gallon price of $2.50, we used this average price to work out the Dividend rate ie. 2000 points = $2/500 = 0.4% for gas; 2000 points = $2/100 = 2% for food.
  • Circle K has a strong global brand, with 16,000 stores around the world. However, the majority of revenue (72%) comes from fuel/gas sales. This could be a weakness and threat for the business model, as the market moves towards electric cars/sustainability.
  • Satisfaction for the loyalty program is predominantly positive, based on online reviews, where the loyalty app received an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 (based on 26.3K ratings).
Part
11
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Part
11

Loyalty Program Overview - Southeast Grocers

Southeastern Grocers’ loyalty program is called GE Grocers Rewards. The requested information about the program can be found in the attached spreadsheet and a summary presented below.
  • SE Growers Rewards is a point-based program where customers earn points by making the qualifying purchases.
  • The program helps customers save on food and fuel.
  • Customers earn one point for every $2 spent on the qualifying items.
  • Southeastern Grocers has partnered with Shell and Excentus’ Fuel Rewards.
  • A shopper needs a minimum of 100 points and an applicable identifier to redeem for both groceries and fuel programs.
  • Customers have reported a problem with the SE Grocers Rewards card when using it.

Research Strategy

The research team was unsuccessful in obtaining information on any formal awards or recognition that the SE Grocers Rewards program has received. One of our strategies involved searching the company’s website, reviewing press releases, as well as its social media pages including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. However, no information regarding awards or recognition was found. A search through the various social media pages only yielded information on customers’ feedback on the program.
Part
12
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Part
12

Loyalty Program Overview - Kroger

Within the attached spreadsheet the requested loyalty program overview details for Kroger has been provided.

Summary of Findings


Research Strategy

The research team was unsuccessful in obtaining information on formal recognition and awards received for the fuel point loyalty program. The research strategies used to recover this information included searching the company website, reviewing press releases, as well as its social media pages including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

The research team visited The Balance where customer perceptions were cited. The article was written by Holly D. Johnson. Johnson is a credit card expert and an award-winning writer, with nationally recognized expertise in online personal finance writing.
Part
13
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Part
13

Loyalty Program Overview - Albertsons/Safeway

Safeway offers its customers a loyalty program called "just for U," which is a point-based program to earn and redeem rewards for shopping at their stores. Row 8 of the spreadsheet contains information on the loyalty program of the company.

Loyalty program of Safeway

  • Customers can enter the loyalty program by creating an account with one of Albertsons grocery banner stores, and the program offers benefits such as gas rewards, digital coupons, personalized deals, free items, among others.
  • The loyalty program of Safeway runs on a point-based system, where the customers earn points for their spending on purchases at physical stores or the online store.
  • Customers can redeem points by using their registered phone number at checkout or by using the app to convert the points to coupons, discounts, or free items.
  • Safeway has formed partnerships with Chevron, Texaco, Exxon, and Mobil to offer gas rewards for its customers, and all the other rewards are offered through Albertsons grocery banner stores.

Part
14
of fourteen
Part
14

Loyalty Program Overview - Ahold Delhaize/Giant

Giant Food offers its customers a loyalty program called "Giant Rewards," which is a point-based program to earn and redeem on grocery purchases. Row 9 of the spreadsheet contains information on the loyalty program of the company.

Loyalty program of Giant Food

  • The loyalty program of Giant Food runs on a point-based system, and the customers earn points through their spending for purchases at physical stores or the online store.
  • Giant Foods received three awards for its loyalty program, which are platinum customer-centric culture award, customer loyalty award, and customer experience strategy award at the Loyalty360 Customer Expo in 2019.
Sources
Sources

From Part 08
Quotes
  • "With Shell loyalty programmes in 16 countries, customers can collect points when they visit Shell, and convert these into their choice of rewards."
Quotes
  • "Find out how many Shell ClubSmart points you earn per Shell ClubSmart card type and fuel type."
Quotes
  • "We have more than 80 years of experience in the chemicals industry. Our plants produce a range of base and intermediate chemicals and our products are used to make numerous everyday items, from clothing and cars to detergents and bicycle helmets."
Quotes
  • "The objective of the I-COM Data Creativity Awards is to acknowledge the most creative people & companies in achieving business value and ideally, competitive advantage for their clients by leveraging value from data. "
Quotes
  • "I think this is an amazing program, with the economy the way it is, gas prices always on the rise, fantastic! I am about to save $1 a gallon, which is HUGE!"
  • "I never got more than $.10 off per gallon with the gas card. So at 20 gallons I was losing a $15.00 value in Visa reward point to get a $2.00 reduction at the gas pump."