- Arko Corp., parent company of c-store retailer GPM Investments, added 365,000 loyalty members in the third quarter, CEO, Chairman and President Arie Kotler said in the company’s latest earnings call.
- These gains represent nearly 20% of the roughly 1.85 million total members enrolled in its fas Rewards loyalty program at the end of the quarter. Kotler noted that enrollment is also up 50% from the end of Q3 2022.
- Arko has been putting a heavier focus on fas Rewards in 2023, updating the program and app in March and running an enrollment promotion through September.
Kotler attributed much of the Q3 membership gain to the special $10 loyalty enrollment promotion the company ran as part of its 100 Days of Summer event, ending on Sept. 19. The program was so successful that Arko began a second phase of the offer on Nov. 1.
Arko is aiming to enroll 3 million loyalty members by the end of 2024, Kotler said in the call.
The company has put a larger emphasis on its loyalty program overall in 2023. The company’s app relaunch in March added features such as app-only deals for members, a virtual wallet and app-based ordering for delivery and pick-up. It also uses geofencing to give rewards members offers for their local stores.
Loyalty members visit stores four more times per month and spend about $41 more, on average, than other customers, according to the earnings call. This was down from six more trips and $68.50 more in spending per month in the second quarter, but Kotler attributed the drop in part to the large number of new members, many of whom may not have had a chance to mature into more regular shopping habits by the end of the reporting period.
Almost 20% of Q3 merchandise sales were attributed to loyalty members.
“We believe that mix can grow, and hope to achieve 30%-plus merchandise sales penetration over time,” Kotler said.
Richmond, Virginia-based Arko has more than 1,500 c-stores in 33 states under a variety of brands in its GPM Investments arm, including E-Z Mart, Breadbox, ExpressShop and Pride.