Northeast Florida Roundup
Rewarding Customers: Southeastern Grocers takes a new approach to rewards program
Plus, business news in Northeast Florida, including briefs and "players."
After emerging from bankruptcy in May, Winn-Dixie’s parent, Jacksonville- based Southeastern Grocers, rolled out a new rewards program tfor its customers.
The program, SE Grocers Rewards, replaces Plenti, the now-defunct American Express-operated loyalty program that enabled customers to collect points and redeem rewards at Macy’s, Chili’s, ExxonMobil and other participating companies. Launched in 2015, Plenti was supposed to be an alternative to inhouse loyalty programs, but customers didn’t like it, and American Express ended it in July.
“Plenti was pretty complex. There were so many participants and so many restrictions like at Macy’s you could only redeem points for certain categories of products,” says Scott Schaper, executive vice president of program operations at Excentus, a Dallas-based company that has partnered with Southeastern Grocers to manage the new rewards offering. “We tried to make this very simple.”
Customers now have a choice of whether to redeem their points for groceries at Southeastern stores or gas at Shell stations.
BUSINESS Briefs for Northeast Florida
- Southwest Airlines will offer daily non-stop service to Dallas for two months starting in early January. The airline had offered weekend flights to Dallas seasonally.
- Northpoint Development of Riverside, Mo., plans to build a 553,000-sq.- ft. warehouse on speculation in north Jacksonville.
- Hanania Automotive Group opened a new Audi dealership in the East Arlington area.
- British car brand Bentley Motors plans to open a Jacksonville dealership, its 38th in the U.S., in the first quarter of 2019.
- The FBI arrested and charged three men in Buffalo, N.Y., with stealing items from trains belonging to Jacksonville-based CSX over an 18-year period. Among the items allegedly stolen were cases of bourbon.
- Florida Family Insurance will move from Riverplace Tower downtown to a suburban office building near Flagler Center, where it will have more space.
- The Jacksonville Jaguars and sister company Bold Events partnered with California-based Oak View Group Facilities to expand the entertainment schedule at TIAA Bank Field year-round. Oak View plans to attract national touring concerts, festivals and unique, stand-alone events to the Jaguars’ home stadium.
- Dream Finders Homes, a Jacksonville home builder, will lease space at the 45,000-sq.-ft. headquarters building it recently sold to Richmond, Va.-based Capital Square 1031 for $13.75 million.
- Healogics agreed to pay up to $22.5 million to settle a lawsuit in which the Justice Department claimed the Jacksonville company knowingly caused wound care centers to bill Medicare for unnecessary hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
- Employees of the Florida Times-Union announced plans to pursue union representation, citing recent newsroom layoffs and stagnant wages. The filing could make it the third GateHouse Media-owned newspaper in Florida to form a union, along with the Lakeland Ledger and Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
- The Florida Department of Transportation is reconsidering routes for a toll road through the heart of Marion County horse country after opposition from residents and elected officials. Earlier this year, FDOT unveiled a proposal that called for its Coastal Connector project to go through northwest Marion County, linking the Suncoast Parkway with I-75 and U.S. 441. Transportation planners hope to create a more direct route between Jacksonville and Tampa.
- The state Agency for Health Care Administration gave preliminary approval for a 66-bed hospital proposed by Munroe Regional Medical Center. Three local hospitals
- Ocala Regional Medical Center, West Marion Community Hospital and Citrus Memorial Hospital challenged the certificate-of-need decision.
- The Reserve at Amelia Apartments, a 300-unit rental complex, was sold to a New York-based subsidiary of Terragon for $51.3 million.
- The state Supreme Court voted unanimously to remove Circuit Judge Scott DuPont of the 7th Judicial Circuit, which is made up of Volusia, Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns counties. The Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission had recommended that DuPont be removed from the bench after he was found to have violated judicial canons, including publishing false allegations online about his 2016 campaign opponent, Malcolm Anthony.
ST. JOHNS COUNTY
- Ladybird Academy, a day care company based in Lake Mary, is building a day care center in St. Johns County. The company, which mixes playtime with a curriculum-based approach, also plans to build five more locations in and around Jacksonville.
- David Guzick resigned as president of UF Health after recent treatment for cancer. David Nelson, director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, was named interim senior vice president for health affairs and president of UF Health.
- Michael Good resigned as dean of UF’s College of Medicine to join the University of Utah as executive dean of its medical school and CEO of University of Utah Health.
- Jacksonville Aviation Authority CEO Steve Grossman plans to retire at the end of 2018 after nearly a decade with the Jacksonville airport.
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