Wednesday, November 8, 2017

PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum to merge - becomes PC Optimum on February 1, 2018 (details inside)

Big news today, that really wasn't a big surprise because the question wasn't if  PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum it was when. We all know Loblaw bought Shoppers a few years and then the RBC Shoppers Optimum Card was discontinued in the Summer of 2016 so  everything was pointing to an eventual merger.

Now we know that it is going to happen, news came out today that Loblaw will merge the programs to become PC Optimum on February 1, 2018. In Quebec, the Pharmaprix Optimum program will come to an end on January 31, 2018 and members will have until May 2 to redeem their points.

In general the changes of the merged program aren't that huge outside of now being able to earn at more locations for members of either program.

Here are the highlights of the new program
  • At Loblaw stores (Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills etc.) you will continue to earn via your personalized offers that are sent out each week if you buy those items
  • At Shoppers Drug Mart you will earn 15 PC Optimum Points per dollar spent  
  • Redemption is simplified and follows the PC Plus model of 10,000 points equals $10. Gone is the tiered reward chart of Shoppers Optimum
So how does the new program fair when compared to the two separately?
  • For PC Plus there is no real change other than now being able to earn and redeem at Shoppers Drug Mart and 
  • For Shoppers Optimum members not only can you now earn and redeem at Loblaw stores you will now earn more for each dollar spent at Shoppers stores but you are losing the tiered reward chart. So let's compare the old earn and burn on Optimum to the new program
    Old Points Spend Required New Minimum Spend Required
    8,000 = $10 $800 10,000 $666.67
    22,000 = $30 $2200 22,000 $1466,67
    38,000 = $60 $3800 38,000 $2533.33
    50,000 = $85 $5000 50,000 $3333.33
    95,000 = $170 $9500 95,000 $6333.33
  • This is a direct comparison however, as the new program will only let you redeem in 10,000 point increments so technically to get to a level like 38,000 you would have to wait to get to 40,000 points for $40 or $2666.67 in spend - which is still better than the $3800 in the old program. 
  • As you can see you will have to spend less with Shoppers in the new program to reach reward levels. But we need to compare point per point value - right now at the 8,000 point level your points are worth about 1.25 cents whereas in the new program at 10,000 points they worth 1.5 cents. In fact in the new program it is 1.5 cents across the board. In the old program the value is higher at the 38,000 and higher levels (1.57, 1.7, 1.79 respectively)
  • As you can see Shoppers Optimum members are getting a better program if you are a low redeemer or low points earner. Those who earn lots of points at Shoppers will be losing value  in the new program but you get more places to earn so we can see the thinking behind this change that Loblaw did  (Thanks to Ben for prompting this and having us look at it again and correcting it)
  • Good news is that your current points will hold their value in the new program:

Overall this is still good news for members of both programs and good news for our industry as you actually have a program that is getting stronger - and it needs to. The loyalty space in Canada will get even more competitive in the coming years as we can expect Aeroplan to make a huge push for keeping members and expanding due to them losing their Air Canada partnership in 2020. And other programs won't sit on their laurels - you can expect AIR MILES to ramp up offers and the program in response to Aeroplan and programs like PC Optimum will be keeping an eye on them and responding accordingly.

Tells us what you think about today's news in the comments section below!

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