Hardee’s Food Systems is always on the lookout for innovative and cost-effective ways to gain new customers and increase its sales. Earlier this year, its Hardee’s division became the first quick-serve restaurant chain to utilize application-based mobile couponing on a large scale.
The couponing campaign, involving 117 Hardee’s locations across Indianapolis and St. Louis, featured “buy one and get one free” offers for three different menu items. Users were asked to send a text message (“hx”) to a certain number to receive the mobile coupons, which were redeemable at all participating Hardee’s locations.
Hardee’s partnered with Cellfire on the mobile campaign. Based in Santa Clara, Calif., Cellfire is a mobile-couponing service that provides consumers with discounts by delivering them directly to their cell phones (the service is available nationwide on all carriers). Users have their own set of discounts and offers specific to their geographical area. Unlike text-based offers, Cellfire’s application-based service enables consumers to easily store, search and use many discounts across multiple merchants.
To redeem the coupon, consumers click on the coupon they wish to use (the coupons are displayed on the cell-phone screen), and show it to the store/restaurant employee.
To date, the firm has lined up about 200 entertainment, retail and food marketers, which, for the right to send mobile coupons, pay Cellfire an upfront fee and additional subscription rates if the number of cell-phone subscribers to their coupons increases.
At Hardee’s, the mobile coupons were part of an integrated campaign that included in-store collateral and signage, bus panel advertising, outdoor billboards and geographically targeted online search, banners and e-mails. It also featured text messages to Cellfire users in the two participating regions. Total impressions were greater than 10 million.
The four-month digital promotion exceeded expectations with regard to redemptions and cost-effectiveness. Across all three offers, redemption was highest—in excess of 17%—for the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. By comparison, the average redemption rate for paper coupons is about 1%, according to Cell-fire.
The promotion improved Hardee’s image as a hip and forward-thinking company among a crucial audience group. It also provided insights regarding offer performance.
Encouraged by the success of its initial mobile-coupon promotion, Hardee’s subsequently launched a second campaign, which also was well-received. The company is in the middle of its third mobile promotion.
CompUSA may get a new look
ADDISON, Tx. After opening a new format store last month, CompUSA may be changing the format of its other stores, depending on customer demand and product interest.
According to reports, the elements found in the prototype store, located in Texas, will be incorporated into other CompUSA locations across the United States.
The nearly 7,700 square-ft. relocation site includes an Apple shop featuring Mac computers, iPods and Apple accessories, and a full-length LCD TV wall.
Additional expansions include extended gaming, which includes an entire wall devoted to the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation3 and Xbox 360 gaming platforms, plus a PC gaming setup to test equipment and play new titles.
While businesses can get their share of support with a specialized services section, all consumers can visit the store’s redesigned IT support area.
“This new store aligns CompUSA’s vision to better serve its three core customers, the technology enthusiast, educated professional and small and medium businesses,” said Gabriela Villalobos, the retailer’s sales and operations evp.
CompUSA announced in April that it would narrow its focus to three core customer groups rather than try to serve a mass audience.
The move was part of a comprehensive restructuring, initiated last February, that included an overhaul of senior management and the closure of half its store base as the privately held chain looked to improve sales and profitability.
Walgreens withdraws from CVS provider plans
DEERFIELD, Ill. After many months of talks over low and below-market payment rates by CVS Caremark for four prescription plans, Walgreens has withdrawn as a pharmacy provider from the plans.
Patients affected include members of prescription benefit plans managed by CVS Caremark for ArcelorMittal, Johnson Controls, Progressive Casualty Insurance and Wisconsin Education Association Trust.
Most of the affected members live in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Trent Taylor, president of Walgreens Health Services, the managed care division of Walgreens, released the following statement:
“This is not where we wanted negotiations to lead,” he said. “We’re sorry that our pharmacy patients and CVS Caremark’s clients are caught in the middle, and we’ll do all we can to ensure a smooth transition for our patients to another pharmacy. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to work on resolving this issue with CVS Caremark.
“Leaving a benefits plan is an extraordinary step for us, but it demonstrates how extraordinarily low our payments were from CVS Caremark. We can’t continue accepting reimbursement rates that are drastically below market, while offering patients needed special services such as 24-hour pharmacy access and drive-thru pharmacies.”