Giant Food Inc. has announced plans to launch its new frequent shopper "BonusCard" on September 10, 2000 at all of the company's 176 Giant and Super G stores and pharmacies. The new frequent shopper program will enable Giant's customers to enjoy automatic discounts on store products; be eligible for random rewards and automatic sweepstakes entries; support local schools without having to save receipt tapes, and receive discounts on events, merchandise and services from Giant's BonusPartners. Customers will use the BonusCard to enjoy savings on over 3,000 items on sale at Giant each week and will be able to see the total of their BonusCard savings directly on their sales receipt tapes.

The Company's popular "Apples for the Students Plus" school program will be enhanced to make it easier for schools and consumers to participate. Under the new A+ BonusBucks program, which will start on November 5, 2000 and run through March 31, 2001, consumers can automatically earn credit for their selected schools whenever they use their BonusCard. This eliminates the need for schools and customers to collect, count, bundle and mail in receipt tapes. At the end of the program Giant will make cash grants to the participating schools, which they then can use to meet their specific needs. Approximately $4 million will be awarded to local public, private, and parochial schools during the upcoming school year through the new A+ BonusBucks program. To date, Giant and Super G have given $58 million to 3,200 public, private, and parochial schools. Giant has always believed in contributing to the education of children in the communities we serve.

"A Simple Way to Save. A Simple Way to Win. A Simple Way to Give." is the essence of the BonusCard program. The BonusCard is comprised of one card and two handy key tags for placement on customers' key rings. Customers may also key in their telephone number at the checkout as an alternative to using their BonusCard.

The development of Giant's new BonusCard program has been under consideration for the past two years. Giant President and CEO Dick Baird commented, "Before deciding to introduce the BonusCard, Giant conducted extensive consumer research. Customers were excited by the idea of a distinctive savings card that would provide added value and unique offers."

The new card also will provide Giant and Super G customers with a series of exciting new discount programs through an innovative "BonusPartners" program. Through the BonusPartners program, cardholders will receive special offers from other businesses in the community. The BonusPartners program includes bonus interest rates on certificates of deposit from Chevy Chase Bank; admission discounts to the Washington Wizards, Luray Caverns and the Franklin Institute Science Museum; upgrades or discounts from Palace Resorts' Cancun Vacations, Walt Disney World packages, Choice Hotels, and Thrifty Car Rental; service savings from Meineke Discount Mufflers, Merry Maids, Hair Cuttery, Shurgard Storage, and TruGreen ChemLawn, and savings from Baby-2-Teen Furniture, Rehoboth Outlets, and Potomac Mills, among other BonusPartner offerings. Other BonusPartners will be added on a periodic basis.

During the BonusCard launch and throughout the program, Giant will be offering generous prizes to introduce the card to its customers. Prizes will include random rewards, such as coupons for free products, and automatic entry into a sweepstakes for one of ten new 2001 Chevy Blazers or one of ten European vacations.

"Cards that reward customer loyalty have become very common in retailing," Mr. Baird said. "Through a better understanding of our customers, we will be able to improve our services and offer them added value for their grocery dollar. Consumers tell us that they appreciate receiving special discounts for products they purchase frequently, and enjoy the advantages they receive for being a loyal customer. For businesses such as Giant, the benefits include being able to better tailor our product offerings to our customers," Mr. Baird added.

In addressing the question of consumer privacy, Mr. Baird emphasized, "We strongly recognize our special obligation to our customers to properly manage their purchase information and safeguard their privacy." Giant has a privacy committee, headed by our Vice President of Consumer Affairs Odonna Mathews, which oversees privacy issues. Giant's Privacy Guarantee is stated in the BonusCard application, Giant's website, www.giantfood.com, and in greater detail in Giant's privacy brochure. The Privacy Guarantee states:
  • Giant will not sell, rent, or relinquish customer names, home or e-mail

  • addresses, phone numbers, or any other customer identifiable information

  • to anyone. Personal transaction data will be used only for promotional

  • programs provided to customers that are sponsored or co-sponsored by Giant

  • or its parent company, Ahold USA. Giant will not use this information for

  • any other purpose.
Customers will have the ability to decide not to receive special offers in the mail from Giant by checking the box on the application. Additional information about the BonusCard may be found on Giant's website: www.giantfood.com.

Giant Food Inc., headquartered in Landover, MD, operates 176 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and Washington, DC, and employs more than 26,000 associates. Giant is a member of the Ahold USA group, owned by Royal Ahold of the Netherlands. Royal Ahold operates 7,000 supermarkets, hypermarkets, and other store formats in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia. Ahold currently owns five supermarket chains along the eastern seaboard as well as U.S. Foodservice, the second largest food service distributor in the United States. The combined U.S. store count is 1,063 operating units with annualized sales in the United States approaching $30 billion and total worldwide revenues of nearly $50 billion.