Somerfield pulls plug on loyalty schemes

Somerfield has withdrawn from the loyalty scheme Premier Points run by Argos, after deciding to drop all loyalty schemes and resume price-led promotions.

The company announced in its interim results yesterday (Tuesday) that it has “given notice to end our Argos Premier Points loyalty scheme in order to provide our customers with more immediate focused promotional offers”.

A spokesman for the chain says Somerfield will cease issuing points after February 13, although points issued by Somerfield up to that date will still be redeemable with Argos for 12 months.

The decision to pull out of the scheme came in conjunction with Somerfield discarding its own loyalty scheme trial, Somerfield Points.

“The company has been reviewing the loyalty schemes and has decided it wants to give instant rewards. It will, therefore, be re-investing the money previously spent on the scheme in products,” says a Somerfield spokesman. “We looked at the possibilities and decided to focus on price.”

Somerfield reported a small increase in like-for-like sales at 0.3 per cent, while Kwik Save, Somerfield’s discount subsidiary, reported a 3.2 per cent decline for the first eight weeks ending January 6.

The figures are an improvement on like-for-like sales in the first half ending November 11 2000, when Somerfield reported a drop of 5.3 per cent and Kwik Save a slump of 11.1 per cent.

Argos Premier Points are still being issued by BP, Southern Electric, Scottish-Hydro Electric, Family Hampers and A1 Motor Stores and the National Express.

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