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Discounter pulling plug on loyalty program


Target is discontinuing its mobile Cartwheel Perks rewards program, but new app-based improvements are underway.

The discounter alerted shoppers participating across its five test markets via email that its “perks pilot is winding down.” Shoppers have until August 27, to collect points toward perks rewards, and all rewards must be redeemed by October 27, according to Target.

The retailer said in a CNBC report that “creating simple, convenient and fun digital tools for Target guests means listening carefully to guest feed-back and regularly making adjustments based on what we hear. That's why we've begun phasing out the pilot Cartwheel Perks program.”

The loyalty program, which was part of Target’s Cartwheel app, was being tested in Denver, Houston, San Diego, St. Louis, and Raleigh. Customers earned points for every dollar spent in-store, excluding pharmacy and gift card purchases, and then redeemed them for free merchandise, including sunglasses, apparel or commodities like water bottles and laundry detergent.

Target spokesman Eddie Baeb told The News & Observer that the company will transition the Cartwheel digital coupon concept into its Target app. However, the app won’t offer a “perks program for the foreseeable future.”

The app is however, getting a makeover. While Target’s email didn’t share details, Baeb said that an integrated in-app mobile wallet is on the way. Initially, the service will enable Redcard users to pay with their smartphones. (Redcard is Target private label debit or credit card that saves users 5% on every purchase.) The app will also add “location technology” to improve in-store navigation, according to The News & Observer report.

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