Sainsbury’s hires chief for Reward Card loyalty scheme

Sainsbury’s has appointed Karen Penney, from its category planning department, to take charge of its Reward Card loyalty scheme.

The appointment comes as new figures from AGB Taylor Nelson show that Sainsbury’s market share has climbed past 20 per cent for the first time in two years, aided by the “Extra Points” loyalty scheme launched last November.

The supermarket chain has brought in Penney to fill the role of relationship marketing manager, replacing Jonathon Smith who left for rival supermarket chain Somerfield, where he will be marketing development director.

Penney will report to strategic marketing director Anthony Rees. She will be in charge of developing the Reward Card, which over recent months has assumed a central role in the chain’s fightback against its rivals.

Last November, Sainsbury’s launched its Extra Points initiative, offering hundreds of extra loyalty card points on a range of branded and own-label products. Extra Points has been credited with alleviating some of Sainsbury’s present problems. AGB Till Roll Data shows that in the four weeks to February 9, Sainsbury’s market share increased to 20.3, compared with 22 per cent for Tesco.

At the beginning of the year, the chain issued a warning that profits would slump by up to 70m this year.

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