Our own associates are our most important ambassadors of the company and we need them actively engaging our members to win. For that reason, we have recently made an enhancement to our existing Associate Discount Program that will enable us to build a stronger relationship with our associates as members of Shop Your Way, offering them more value and more rewards while supporting our company goals.
Our new Associate Discount Points Program will provide Shop Your Way points back on purchases in addition to any other Shop Your Way program points and perks, and also provide a new increased benefit for purchases of hardlines goods (from the existing 10 percent discount to 15 percent back in points). The new program benefits all active Sears Holdings associates, spouses and eligible dependents, effective Sunday, January 29, 2017.
The new Associates Discount Points Program will enable our associates to take full advantage of Shop Your Way as we continue to expand our value proposition, including partnerships with Uber and ActiveHours, and the new 5-3-2-1 Shop Your Way offer associated with our Sears MasterCard. By increasing the richness of the discount on the hardline goods that represent two-thirds of our associates’ spend, we believe that we will increase the engagement in Shop Your Way among our associates and create experiences that they can share with our members, while providing more value for them and their families.
Overall, we believe our members realize more value by shopping with us through our Shop Your Way program, receiving points for future purchases; this will be the same for our associates. Our associates will see they get more value from the new Associate Discount Points Program than the former employee discount program. As examples:
- An associate spending $500 per year and spending two-thirds on hardlines and one-third on softlines would have saved $66.60 under the prior program. Under the new program, that same associate would receive about $83 in points, a 25% increase in benefits, that could be used for future purchases.
- Since it is unlikely that all purchases are made at the same time, an associate who purchased $333 in hardlines (the same as before) would earn $50 in points. Then, the associate could use the $50 in points to purchase $167 in softlines. Their overall cash out of pocket would be $333 + $117 = $450 and they would still have $33.30 left in points for additional purchases.
We recognize that this is a significant change for our associates and the leadership team appreciates the open dialogue we have with our associates about the benefits of the new program. As we’ve communicated in our internal forum, this program change is about walking our talk, and having our associates engage with and help shape the future of the company. We believe it will benefit them as shoppers and members, and by more closely connecting their efforts to the success of Sears Holdings.
Leena Munjal is Senior Vice President, Customer Experience and Integrated Retail at Sears Holdings Corporation