Founding partner pulls out of Nectar scheme
Department store chain Debenhams is pulling out of the Nectar UK multipartner loyalty programme.
Nectar points will not be issued at Debenhams after February 15, and the retailer says it will not launch its own loyalty scheme or join another programme. It will now concentrate on marketing directly to holders of its store card.
Debenhams was one of the founding members of the Nectar programme six years ago, although as far back as December 2003 there were rumours it was considering leaving the scheme in a refocusing of its loyalty strategy. It says current difficult retail conditions are leading to it diverting the cost of Nectar participation into benefits for store cardholders. Currently Debenhams issues a store card as well as a MasterCard which customers can use at other retailers to accumulate points for spending in Debenhams.
Aeroplan-owned Loyalty Management Group (LMG), which operates Nectar, said it was disappointed with the move, but would be looking for a new department store partner to replace Debenhams – the scheme operates a policy of sector exclusivity for partners.
Aeroplan added in a statement: “Nectar is a constantly changing and dynamic business and will look to develop opportunities for its collectors to earn Nectar points with clothing and department stores both online and the high street.” Nectar claims that half of UK householders collect its points. Its owners stated that the scheme “is a constantly changing and dynamic business and will look to develop opportunities for its collectors to earn Nectar points with clothing and department stores both online and the high street.”
Rupert Duchesne, president and CEO of Canada-based Aeroplan (which bought LMG at the end of last year), said that “notwithstanding the loss of Debenhams, Aeroplan’s financial guidance for LMG issued at the time of the acquisition remains unchanged.”