With inflation and price hikes, grocery stores are competing now more than ever for shoppers’ attention. To broaden their customer base, stores like Kroger and Walmart are trying a strategy that Costco has successfully used for decades to entice consumers to their stores.
When the price of gas skyrocketed in March, Costco members and even non-members flocked to the warehouse chain’s stations because of the notoriously cheap gas. Lines of cars stretched far into parking lots as many of the 100+ million Costco members wanted to take advantage of significant savings. People even signed up for a membership for either $60 or $120 to get access. Yahoo Finance found that signing up for a membership would save customers over $300 in gas a year, so the sign-up fee seems worth it.
To bring in some business to its gas pumps, Kroger announced in mid-March that it was offering shoppers who are signed up for the rewards program extra points for purchasing gift cards that could be used at its gas stations. Through the promotion, a $25 gift card purchase would equal 100 points, which was enough for $0.10 off a gallon.
Though that sales event ended at the end of March, Walmart just added its own version. Right now Walmart+ members and anyone who joins the program can save $0.10 per gallon not only at Walmart and Sam’s Club stations but also at 12,000 Exxon and Mobil stations.
“We want Walmart+ to help our customers save time and money, not only when they’re shopping with us, but throughout their day,” Chris Cracchiolo, the Senior Vice President & General Manager of Walmart+ said. “We’re excited to continue to find new ways to deliver for them.”
This deal, though, is exclusive to those who pay $12.95 a month or $98 a year for a Walmart+ membership. Other perks include prescription discounts, free shipping, free grocery delivery, Scan & Go checkout, and more. Customers would have to buy over 130 gallons of gas a month, the equivalent of about 11 full tanks of gas, to save as much as the monthly rate.
Unfortunately, prices at the pump are still high. As of April 28, prices are still about $0.20 lower than the $4.41 national average from March 14. With the Kroger deal over and Costco and Walmart requiring a membership to get the savings, those who are looking for a quick break may have to keep searching.
The gas pumps aren’t the only parts of each Costco warehouse that are pretty coveted right now—This Section of Costco Is Soaring in Popularity.