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New Jersey-based Pathmark reportedly plans to create a new combination payment-loyalty card program that will begin rolling out later this year. Developed in concert with HSBC banking group, the card will link to shoppers’ existing bank accounts for one-swipe payment purposes, as well as generating loyalty-based rewards,

The announcement comes just weeks before Pathmark is expected to be acquired by the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P).
KC's View:
As in all such cases, I am curious about what the rewards will be. Will they simply be additional discounts, meaning that a so-called loyalty marketing scheme is just an electronic coupon delivery system? Or will they be meaningful and targeted, keyed to specific customer purchase patterns, proving to the shopper that Pathmark is being loyal to him or her?

One has to wonder what happens to this new program once the company is absorbed by A&P. After all, the folks at A&P have said they would like to use Pathmark as their price/value operation, and it isn’t at all clear that an enhanced loyalty program fits that model.