Alan Mitchell (MW August 30) in discussing loyalty schemes develops the idea further by proposing the concept of consumers forming buyer groups.
This idea has already been developed, its called the Consumer Co-operative Movement which has recently celebrated 150 years of trading.
Alan Mitchell replies: The Co-op was a pioneer in at least three ways: as an organiser of consumers, as an inventor of the loyalty scheme concept through its “divi” and as a brand that transcended the conflict (real and/or perceived) between the interests of customers and shareholders. What my article tried to do was highlight the potential opened up by the application of the first two of these ideas to modern conditions, using new technologies. Add the third idea as well and that would be really interesting.