Reward cardholders increase despite book market downturn
UK book store Waterstone’s says it is beating expectations with the number of active cardholders in its loyalty scheme, despite a downturn the the retail market for books.
The HMV-owned chain released annual results saying it had suffered in a ‘challenging and highly competitive’ market, but increased its Waterstone’s Loyalty Card scheme to 2.8m customers, contributing to a 60% rise in online sales. The original target for the two-year-old scheme set by HMV group CEO Simon Fox was 1.5 million cardholders after three years.
Comparative sales at the 314-store retailer fell 3% even after adjusting for the previous year’s launch of the final Harry Potter book. Full-year sales to April 25 totalled £548.3m compared with £564.3m a year earlier and operating profit fell by £6.3m (39%) to £10m.
The retailer said there had been noticeably weakening demand for celebrity autobiographies and travel books.
Earlier this month the scheme won the 2009 IDM BPA Diamond, the top prize in the annual UK Institute of Direct Marketing Business Performance Awards.