Giant Food Stores, based in Carlisle, Pa. announced that there will be no free turkey promotion this year. The supermarket company has decided to end the 15-year program.
Company spokeswoman Samantha Krepps said the company saw a large decline in the number of customer who were opting for a free turkey. Last year the program offered shoppers a free 20-pound turkey, turkey breast or lasagna after the customer with a Bonus Card spent $400 (earned 400 points).
Shoppers Will No Longer Receive Free Turkey
It seems that many Giant Food Store shoppers are upset about the change in the program. Many people look forward to the free turkey each year. “There are a lot of people who count on that,” Linda Williams, a frequent Giant Foods shopper, said. “They have to shop all fall anyway and they save their points and get a free turkey.” Other Giant Foods patrons have expressed that they are not happy with Giant’s decision to cut the program after 15 years as well.
Many customers enjoy being both savvy and generous during the holiday season. Williams said that she usually donates the free turkey she receives each year through a food program with her church. She will be sad to see that opportunity go away. For many the Giant Foods free turkey has become an annual tradition and it has helped many food banks save product during one of the hardest times of the year.
ABC reported that a shelter in Harrisburg, Pa. estimated that the shelter would lose about $15,000 this year because of Giant’s decision to cut the free turkey program. Now Giant brand turkeys are $1.49 per pound. In recent years the shelter received about 500 turkeys from people who participated in Giant’s free turkey promotion and didn’t have to spend any money.
The New ‘Free Turkey’ Program
The company understands the impact that the decision may have on local shelters and has decided to make a comparable donation. Giant has donated approximately $90,000 in cash and turkeys through its “Feeding Our Neighbors” program.
Although there was a decline in customers looking to get free turkeys in recent years around the Thanksgiving holiday, the company has seen an increase in shoppers using Bonus Card points for gas rewards. Instead of getting a free turkey with your points you can get free gas by shopping at any of the Giant Food stores.
Loyal Giant Food shoppers have been upset about the change in the free turkey program. Shoppers see the free turkey program as a customer appreciation perk. Many Giant patrons shop year-round to get gas points but the free turkey program is something they look forward to each year for being a loyal customer.
Despite the outcry from loyal customers, Krepps said that phase one of the new program will be rolled out on Friday. However, no specific details have been mapped out for shoppers. Giant has only revealed that it will continue to offer its customers holiday value deals in place of the free turkey program.