Mobile Loyalty

Family Express offers smart phone alternative to physical card for F.E. Perks

VALPARAISO, Ind. -- Convenience retailer Family Express has announced the extended launch into the social media and mobile marketing arena. The company has deployed the technology to immediately offer its customers the ability to use their mobile devices as their F.E. Perks loyalty card at the point of sale inside the store.

The user needs to download the Family Express mobile application for Android, Blackberry or iPhone and link their F.E. Perks account to their device.

"This option allows Family Express customers an easy, quick alternative to grabbing their wallet [image-nocss] or digging through their purse," the company said.

This is the first step in a larger marketing strategy to connect with customers on the go. Additionally, the chain is developing "app-only specials" and sending coupons to customer's mobile device, Facebook and Twitter. This allows Family Express an immediate connection with customers using their mobile device.

Family express has experienced growth, tripling its social and mobile networking presence since launching the application in July.

Bill Nolan, vice president of marketing said, "Offering our customers a digital alternative to a traditional plastic card makes their transaction much easier and further differentiates Family Express from the crowded field of c-store alternatives."

In other news, Family Express announced on Wednesday the unveiling of its new corporate headquarters, still in Valparaiso, Ind., on the 30-acre campus currently housing the company's distribution center and central bakery, reported The Times.

The 30,000-square-foot facility will feature a learning center including a fully merchandised Family Express store. The Family Express store will not be open to the public, but it will be used for training purposes and strategic planning.

Family Express operates 52 convenience stores throughout northwest and north central Indiana.

The company's logistics model consolidates 25 traditional direct-store delivery (DSD) weekly deliveries into a single daily delivery to achieve transportation efficiencies and freshness for perishables. The company strives to deliver an outstanding customer experience through its "living brand" philosophy"a commitment to customers, with an obsession on friendly and courteous service." It offers proprietary brands including Java Wave gourmet coffees, Buzzed energy drinks, Squeeze Freeze frozen carbonated drinks and private-label spring water, milk and ice. Its Cravin's Market brand includes a line of fresh sandwiches and bakery products such as its signature square doughnuts that are prepared and delivered daily from the company's central distribution facility.