Happy birthday Clubcard, happy birthday Loyalty
Tesco is using Clubcard’s 15th birthday as the excuse for extending its double points offer at least into the summer.
Having suffered the indignity this month of the Sainsbury’s announcement that it now has more Nectar cardholders than it has Clubcard members, not to mention the looming launch of Barclaycard Reward as a competitor, Tesco is keen to keep the loyalty initiative firmly in its own backgarden.
Tesco had launched a huge advertising campaign under the slogan ‘Clubcard 2’. This is what it is all about, though the scheme will still be called Clubcard (not Clubcard 2).
The supermarket says there will be no change to the way you use those points, though moneysupermarket.com says it fears it may increase the number of points required for some redemptions in future.
A family that currently spends £5,000 a year at Tesco would receive 5,000 Clubcard points. These are worth £50 to spend in store or £200 in Rewards vouchers.
Under the new scheme, the same family would earn 10,000 points, worth £100 in store or £400 in vouchers.
Tesco is keeping its options open regarding maintaining this new rewards structure as a permanent fixture. It says it will monitor the scheme, but for now, it has not set an end date, yet it has not said it will continue indefinitely either.
Happy birthday Loyalty Magazine
Tesco Clubcard was the front page story for the second edition of Loyalty Magazine, featuring the retailer’s then chairman and CEO Sir Ian MacLaurin at a till checkout. At the time, we quoted Sainsbury’s chairman David Sainsbury as saying: “We estimate that an electronic ‘green shield stamp’ type scheme would cost at least £10 million just to administer. That is wated money which brings no benefits at all to customers. We have no plans to go down that route. Sainsbury’s will however, continue to trial its Saver Card loyalty scheme.”
Tesco marketing director Tim Mason was more accurate in his prediction. He said: “I firmly believe Clubcard will be a brand and it will need to be managed like a brand. It has been idely estimated by the industry that the rewrd costs for the one point for every £5 spent scheme will be £45-55 million and I agree with these figures. On the basis of the trial, we believe we can break even on this allowing for competitive response.”
Pictured on our 1995 front page are Tim Mason, then marketing director and now head of Tesco’s US operation Fresh & Easy (see story below), an unnamed checkout assistant, and Sir Ian MacLaurin, who joined Tesco as a management trainee in 1959. Sir Ian has claimed that his most his most important act was appointing the right successor, Sir Terry Leahy.
Were you in the loyalty business at the time of the Tesco Clubcard launch? If so, what significant changes have there been, and what is different about customer retention strategy today compared with 15 years ago?
Any thoughts? Send them to the editor. Email: email@example.com