SuperValu said Thursday that it will allow customers to use their refund checks to buy gift cards in $300 increments, and that its stores will add $30 to each card, bringing their value to $330. Other businesses are participating in stimulus programs as well.
Families struggling to make ends meet can stretch their economic stimulus checks or tax refunds a bit further if they use them to buy gift cards at Cub Foods or other outlets operated by the grocery store's parent company, Super Valu.
The Eden Prairie-based retailer said Thursday that it will allow customers to use their refund checks to buy gift cards in $300 increments, and that its stores will add $30 to each card, bringing their value to $330. Households an purchase a maximum or $1,200 in gift cards, the retailer said.The gift cards cannot be used to buy alcohol, lottery tickets, or tobacco products, but might help offset rising grocery prices, which are expected to go up 3.5 to 4.5 percent in 2008, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service.
The offer begins May 2, the day the first round of stimulus checks should be in bank accounts of customers who opted for direct deposit, and runs through July 31, the company said.
Besides the Twin Cities area 56 Cub Foods stores, the offer also is good at Acme, Albertsons, Bigg's , Fresh Farm, Hornbacher's, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Shaw's/Star Market, Shop 'N Save, and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy.
SuperValu is not the only company offering discounts and freebies to consumers who turn the rebate checks into gift cards. Kroger's, a supermarket chain based in Cincinnati, Ohio, is offering a similar program. Sears Holding Corp. said it will offer a 10 percent bonus to every customer who converts their government stimulus checks into gift cards at Sears or Kmart.
The federal government is mailing checks totaling $168 billion to Americans in starting next week in an effort to get consumers spending again and boost a sagging economy, the IRS said.