Shoppers Drug Mart next month plans to launch a cobranded banking account/debit card with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) that will make it more convenient for Canadians to bank and earn rewards chainwide.

Shoppers Drug Mart, debit card, Royal Bank of Canada, RBC, Shoppers Optimum, loyalty program, cobranded debit card, Pharmaprix, Domenic Pilla, Dave McKay, banking account, Shoppers Optimum card, essence, cosmetics, beauty brand, Liesbeth van den Berkmortel, Cosnova, Christina Oster-Daum, makeup, Geoff Walden

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SDM is ready to roll out some new offerings in March

February 13th, 2012

TORONTO – Shoppers Drug Mart next month plans to launch a cobranded banking account/debit card with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) that will make it more convenient for Canadians to bank and earn rewards chainwide.

Also in March SDM will become the exclusive Canadian retailer of the essence, the value cosmetics brand from Cosnova Beauty.

Users of the new cobranded debit card will get enhanced rewards from Shoppers Optimum, the chain’s loyalty program. Other benefits include unlimited debit transactions, access to Canada’s largest combined network of ATMs and branches (including more than 300 new RBC ATMs in SDM/Pharmaprix locations) and the ability to convert RBC Rewards points to Shoppers Optimum points.

In addition, RBC and SDM plan to introduce a series of cobranded products.

“With one of the largest and most popular loyalty card programs in Canada, we are continually focused on developing innovative, high-quality products to offer our Shoppers Optimum program members,” says SDM president and chief executive officer Domenic Pilla. “Aligning with RBC, a trusted leader in banking, allows us to expand upon our current financial services offering, providing our customers with even greater convenience and enhanced rewards.”

Dave McKay, group head of Canadian banking at RBC, remarks, “Canadians trust RBC and Shoppers Drug Mart as industry leaders and, together, we are advancing the banking and retail experience by making financial products and everyday banking more accessible. This is the first step in a new alliance that will make banking more convenient by expanding beyond our branches and providing Canadians with enhanced reward options on everyday spending.”

The program will allow for the collection of Shoppers Optimum points at other retailers as well as SDM (1 point will be earned for every $1 spent outside SDM). It also offers the ability to earn points faster with unlimited debit transactions.

Rewards will also include 10 additional points — beyond those earned using the Shoppers Optimum card — for every $1 spent at SDM.

And 50,000 Shoppers Optimum bonus points will be provided for setting up a payroll or pension deposit to the new account and completing two online bill payments.

Meanwhile, the rollout of essence will bring Canadians a brand that is known for on-trend face and nail products affordably priced at $1.49 to $4.99 (Canadian).

“Essence is a fresh, fun and fashionable beauty brand that is sure to delight our customers across Canada,” says Liesbeth van den Berkmortel, SDM’s director of corporate and exclusive beauty brands. “We are thrilled to be launching essence to further our cosmetics assortment and fulfill our promise of providing Canadian consumers with convenient access to the global beauty brands.”

Frankfurt-based Cosnova has been one of the fastest-growing beauty companies. “We are excited about introducing Canadians to essence via our partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart,” says founder and CEO Christina Oster-Daum. “We’re on the pulse of what is new and cool in the makeup world. Our mandate is to see fast, learn fast and implement fast. We want to ensure our customers always have access to the latest makeup trends at a great price.”

Already distributed in 55 countries, essence is the No. 1 brand by units in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Ireland, Switzerland, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Hungary. One out of every four cosmetics bought in Germany is an essence product, the company says.

In addition to its standard product range, Cosnova will release limited Canadian editions of essence each year. Past limited editions have included products based on popular culture trends, such as the successful Moonlight and the Summer of Love collections. Young women can learn about product innovations and get makeup tips at Essence fans also can meet to talk about cosmetics, beauty and trends at ­