Safeway plans Argos link

Supermarket multiple’s planned ABC card link-up with Argos leaves Somerfield out in the cold

Supermarket chain Safeway is planning to link its ABC loyalty card with the Argos Premier Points loyalty scheme in a move that would leave rival supermarket chain Somerfield out in the cold.

The alliance would also cover the BP and Mobil brands. Argos Premier Points and Air Miles are the pre-eminent loyalty reward schemes in the country.

It is understood the supermarket chain believes such an alliance would be more powerful than Argos Premier Points’ present tie-up with the 600-strong Somerfield chain.

The Argos Premier Points loyalty card bears the name of Somerfield, and the scheme is currently being introduced nationally. Safeway’s predicted turnover for this year is 6.6bn, while Somerfield’s turnover in the year to August was 3.2bn.

This week, Safeway opened its first co-branded petrol “super-station” with petrol giant BP.

Safeway provides a 2,000 sq ft shop, and BP operates the petrol forecourt.

The move follows the joint venture announced by BP and Mobil. BP will run all the petrol stations, and Mobil will handle lubricants.

Safeway and BP plan to open over 100 “superstations” over the coming year.

Safeway is introducing the ABC loyalty card to the petrol stations (MW September 9) for non-petrol purchases, and BP plans to introduce the Argos Premier Points card from January for petrol sales. However, this will lead to a conflict with Somerfield.

A spokeswoman for Argos Premier Points says: “We are committed to Somerfield. At the present time, it is the Premier Points grocer.”

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