Boots explores ways to use partnerships to Advantage
Alliance Boots is exploring ways to extend the reach of its Advantage loyalty scheme, including allowing consumers to collect points outside of Boots stores, and possibly online.
Boots says it is not yet ready to talk about its plans, but Loyalty Magazine understands it is talking to a number of companies about strategic relationships.
In March, Boots and Waitrose began trialling the sale of each other’s own-label products in a selection of stores across the UK.
The move enables Boots customers to buy groceries, including products from the Essential Waitrose range, and ‘special treats’ from a range of 1,500 products supplied by the supermarket.
The previous month, it agreed a deal with Mothercare that will see the children’s retailer rolling out a clothing and accessories brand in Boots stores in the UK in the autumn.
Alliance Boots is understood to be withdrawing Dollond & Aitchison from the Nectar scheme at the end of this month, following its merger with Boots Opticians.
Earlier this month, Boots announced its first annual trading profit of more than £1bn, becoming only the third UK retailer to surpass the 10-figure milestone. For the year ending 31 March, the retailer’s profits increased by 13% with revenue up 9.6% to £22.5bn, an increase of £2bn on the previous year.
For Boots, its Advantage loyalty card is a vital part of its business strategy and it will be keen not to let it get tired.
Sainsbury’s, a founding partner of Nectar, announced in February that Nectar had become the biggest loyalty scheme in the UK. It now has 16.8 million people signed up to the scheme, which is more than its two main rivals, Tesco Clubcard and Boots Advantage card.
The advantage Boots has is that women use its loyalty scheme as a way to earn treats, while with the other schemes, it is more a case of saving money. This means that the perception of the Boots scheme is that it is special.
The Boots Advantage Card was launched in September 1997.