Macy’s To Exit Plenti Loyalty Program

by Raymond Pucci 0

Macy’s, one of the charter members of the Plenti merchant coalition program will be leaving the group. As the following article reports, this comes after several other members have headed for the exits as well.

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.

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.

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.

We had cast a skeptical eye on Plenti and coalition loyalty programs in an August 2016 Mercator Advisory Group research note “Can Coalition Loyalty Programs Succeed in the U.S.?” While there is not a sole reason for Plenti falling out of favor, a key one is the ever-present conflict between singular merchant branding and the coalition’s positioning. Plenti also suffers from mostly under-the-radar marketing efforts. Whether Plenti survives much longer remains to be seen, but right now its chances do not look good.

Overview by Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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