Tesco’s Clubcard Plus, launched in June 1996, was the first entry by a major grocery retailer into financial services. Tesco’s research indicated that money for grocery shopping is often set aside and usually sitting idle in a current account earning little or no interest.
A five per cent interest rate is offered on money put into Clubcard Plus for grocery spending. Money is easy to put in and take out and when used to pay for shopping, Clubcard Points are earned.
The product was launched with an integrated campaign of PR, TV, press advertising, and in-store support. A key channel of communication was the store staff, so the launch plan included staff training.
Awareness and take-up of the new product exceeded expectations. The target of 100,000 accounts in 12 months was achieved within six. Furthermore, Clubcard Plus attracted Tesco’s most valuable shoppers: families. The product’s success can be judged by the subsequent entry of Tesco’s major rivals into financial services.