Loblaws is launching a fee-based subscription program for either $9.99 a month or $99 a year, which is suppose to be an expansion of the current PC Plus program. All of this should be switching over to the new PC Optimum program in 2018.
I was asked to speak about this matter on CBC’s On the Money, which is now available online to watch. I will also write down what was discussed and add a few nuggets that I did not have time to speak about.
Below are some of the perks that you can expect to receive as they launch a pilot of their new program.
- 20% back in PC points on the essentials such as diapers, infant formula, and all PC Organics products in-store and online
- 20% back in PC points on all Joe Fresh products in-store and online at joefresh.com
- 20x the PC points every day when customers shop online at beautyBOUTIQUE.ca
- Free Click & Collect pick-up service at nearly 200 locations
- Free shipping on all beautyBOUTIQUE.ca and joefresh.com purchases
- $99 PC travel credit once a year when booking a trip on pctravel.ca (annual subscriptions only)
Apparently, more benefits will be offered in 2018.
Summary from the Interview
Basically what I said in the interview is that if you can get more than $9.99 per month or $99 per year in value from the subscription, then it may be worthwhile to sign up. This membership is really designed for people who are loyal to the Loblaws brand. If you are already a big spender at their stores, then you will probably find value in what they offer. If Costco and Amazon (Prime) can make paid subscriptions work, then Loblaws can do it too. They just have to offer enough value to justify it.
What I did not have time to share is how to break down what value is considered “worth it”.
First of all, I would personally wait for more specific details to be released before calculating whether it is worthwhile. Right off the bat, based on the highlights, my first question would be whether the 20% off is on top of a sale, or just off regular price.
This new subscription is really targeting online shoppers and I expect them to offer even more perks in the future.
The Click & Collect pick-up service is starting to become quite popular, as it probably does save people time. So making this feature free is a great addition to the package.
If you are hesitant on whether you will get enough value from the membership, then you can get your money back by paying the yearly membership and getting the $99 travel credit on pctravel.ca, which makes the yearly membership much more worthwhile than the monthly fee.
If I were to give this a try, I would probably go straight to the yearly membership. But if you are on the fence, I would only pay the monthly fee for one month, and if you like it enough, just switch over to the yearly membership so that you can qualify for the travel credit.