Price Chopper changes bargain gas program
PITTSFIELD -- Price Chop per is changing its popular Fuel AdvantEdge program by doubling the amount that shoppers will need to spend in order to receive a discount on gasoline at Sunoco stations.
Price Chopper customers with AdvantEdge cards have been receiving 10 cents off per gallon for every $50 they spend at the grocery store. Starting May 13, the 10-cent discount will come with every $100.
Spokeswoman Mona Golub said this change will be offset because Price Chopper, which has Berkshire locations in Pittsfield, Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox and North Adams, is expanding and enhancing discounts on numerous food items. The discounts will be revealed in both Price Chopper stores and circulars on May 13. Price Chopper expects to lower prices on more than 10,000 products when the discount program is completed.
"As much as our customers tell us they like the Fuel AdvantEdge program, they like saving money on their food bill even more," Golub said. "Essentially, we're turning down the volume of the Fuel AdvantEdge program to turn down the volume on food prices."
The new deals include extended four-, eight- and 12-week discounts on more then 3,000 seasonally relevant fresh, frozen and packaged products, more deeply discounted advertising features, and changes in the quality, value and variety of Price Chopper's exclusive coupon offers.
Berkshire County residents who already use Price Chop per's Fuel AdvantEdge program said they don't believe the discounts on food items will make up for the changes in the fuel discount program.
"I like it the way it is," said Mike Garvey of Pittsfield, while filling his sports utility vehicle with gas at the Sunoco station on Center Street. "Today, I saved 90 cents a gallon."
"Nine out of 10 customers who come through here use the AdvantEdge card," said gas station attendant Carl St. John. "I don't know how that's going to float for us."
Golub said Price Chopper realizes that some people won't like the changes.
"Well, we certainly expect a percentage of our customer base to express disappointment," Golub said. "But we hope that they will take the weekly savings going forward and consider the advantage of the tradeoff.
"We recognize that we're taking a risk," she said. "But in response to what the majority of our customers tell us, which is to lower their food bill, we feel that it is a risk worth taking."
According to Price Chopper, customers have saved $250 million since the Schenectady, N.Y.-based chain began offering the fuel discount program in 2007. Price Chopper owns and operates 128 stores in six states including five in Berk shire County. The Fuel Ad vantEdge partnership is with participating Sunoco gasoline stations.
Price Chopper's fuel program change brings it to the same level as a similar program offered by Stop & Shop, in which shoppers get 10 cents off per gallon at local Shell stations for every $100 they spend in the grocery store.
To reach Tony Dobrowolski:
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On Twitter: @tonydobrow
Berkshire Price Chopper locations
- Pittsfield -- 555 Hubbard Ave. Suite 8
- Lee -- 88 W. Park St.
- Lenox -- 121 Pittsfield Road
- North Adams -- State Road
- Great Barrington -- 300 Stockbridge Road
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