Loblaws is replacing its Optimum and PC Plus points plans and will introduce a new unified loyalty program to its customers in the New Year.

Loblaw Companies Ltd. acquired Shoppers Drug Mart more than three years ago and will merge the two programs on February 1, 2018.

"We're bringing the very best of Shoppers Optimum and PC Plus together," said Uwe Stueckmann, senior vice president of marketing.

Customers can continue collecting points for both programs until February and will then be moved to the new program at equal value.

Patrick Sojka is the founder of rewardscanada.ca and says the merger of the two programs looks good for consumers.

“Looking over both programs and then the combined program, the big thing for PC Plus members is now they can earn and redeem points at Shoppers Drug Mart, vice-versa for Shoppers Optimum members. But for Shoppers Optimum members the earning gets better and the redemption gets better so in general this is a plus for everybody,” he said.

Under the new program; 10,000 points will be valued at $10, 20,000 at $20, up to a maximum single transaction redemption of $500. Customers can redeem the points at any of Loblaw's stores and on the company's websites.

To help account for the higher number of points needed for each redemption level, Shoppers' customers will earn more points for almost every dollar spent.

“What they have changed is the earn rate at Shoppers Drug Mart. So instead of earning 10 points per dollar, you’re now earning 15 points per dollar and they’ve changed the rewards structure so Shoppers Drug Mart had a tiered structure where 8000 points will get you a $10 credit all the way up to 95,000 points for $170 off but now it’s a straight 10,000 points gets you $10 off so at first it looks like I only need 8,000 before and now you need 10,000 but you’re earning five points more per dollar so instead of spending $800 to get to the $10 level, you only have to spend $666 dollars at Shoppers Drug Mart but for PC Plus it all remains the same,” said Sojka.

Officials with the company say the amalgamation will create a more unified and efficient data collection system to better target customers coast to coast.

“Number one it will save them money, it gives them more data, it gives them access to more people because there’s some people who maybe would never go to a Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, that shop at Shoppers Drug Mart and vice versa,” said Sojka. “So it may actually increase their bottom line.”

The new program also means that PC Financial debit cards will no longer earn PC points.

There are over 19 million active members currently enrolled in the two programs.

(With files from The Canadian Press)