Macy’s pulls out of multi-retailer loyalty program
Macy’s is the latest retail partner to exit the Plenti loyalty program.
The department store giant said it will no longer participate in the multi-retailer Plenti program — an online marketplace that features deals from its retail partners. Macy’s said it will stay onboard with the program until May 3.
“Plenti members can earn Plenti points on qualifying purchases at Macy’s until March 15, and redeem Plenti points on qualifying purchases at Macy’s until May 3,” said Macy’s spokesperson Emily Goldberg. “After May 3, Plenti points earned with Macy’s can still be redeemed for savings with the remaining partners in the Plenti program.”
The department store chain didn’t share specifics on why it was leaving the program, which it joined in 2015. But a big factor could be its focus on the relaunch of its revamped loyalty program. Macy’s Star Rewards, which functions as a tiered rewards system that gives its very best shoppers (those who spend $1,200 or more annually) perks, such as free shipping, additional savings and earned points on every purchase.
The company will continue enhancing the new Star Rewards program throughout 2018, including more experiential benefits where members can win access to unique experiences and rewards elements.
Plenti was launched by American Express in 2015. Shoppers sign up for the program either in-store at retail partners or online. Users earn points for purchases at participating companies and can be redeemed at other participating retailers.
Current members can still earn points on eligible purchases through March 15. After that date, members will still have access to their available points, and can continue to use them at participating retailers, such as at gas stations, the website said.
However, members’ retail options are becoming increasingly limited. Plenti plans to close its online doors on March 15, according to the company’s website.
In addition to Macy’s, other retail partners have been pulling out of the program. In the fall, AT&T dropped out. Alamo, Direct Energy, Enterprise, Expedia, Hulu and Nationwide dissolved their partnership at the beginning of 2018.
“Macy’s leaving the Plenti program shouldn’t come as a surprise since they announced they were revamping their loyalty program last year,” said Tom Caporaso, CEO of Clarus Commerce. “Co-op loyalty pro-grams like Plenti gained steam because they sound like they can drive transactions, but they’re not efficient at creating actual loyalty to your brand. Macy’s is giving a clear sign that they understand how a strong loyalty program can and should be a differentiator in what is a turbulent time for many retailers.”
Of course Plenti is on life support! Coalition programs don't create loyalty, they create a pooled points program that does not benefit the issuing company. Reward redeemers gain a reward but that has nothing to do with the issuing brand. American Express should have seen this. What to do? Why not tie customers to your brand. Hard to do, yes... possible, yes. For publicly traded companies, they should implement an option in their program to redeem points/miles for stock in their company - who's a more loyal customer than an owner?