GUS/MyPoints in Euro loyalty deal

Home shopping and high-street retailer Great Universal Stores (GUS) has struck a deal with US online loyalty scheme specialists MyPoints.com to roll out a Web-based loyalty scheme venture across Europe.

GUS, which already holds a 13 per cent stake in the US venture, will invest $13m (£8.13m) to become majority shareholder. MyPoints.com has struck deals with a wide range of high-profile US brands and retailers to cross-promote the MyPoints programme. It claims to have 5 million members and is valued at $1.6bn (£1bn) on the Nasdaq stock market.

The loyalty scheme rewards users for reading its e-mailed “BonusMail” offers, browsing its and clients’ Web content, and for shopping online. Members accumulate points through the scheme which can be redeemed against a variety of goods.

Participating partners in the scheme include Barnes & Noble, Macy’s, Sony Music, Tower Records, and Blockbuster.

According to Internet audience rating company MediaMetrix, 7.5 per cent of US Web users visited the MyPoints.com Website in November, establishing it among the ten most popular US shopping Websites. Latest figures reveal the company has attracted 5.1 million members.

The US venture first indicated its long-term plan to extend its online loyalty scheme BonusMail to Europe in August (MW August 27 1998).

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