A furious row has broken out between the Sainsbury’s-backed Nectar loyalty card and Tesco’s Clubcard over which is the biggest loyalty scheme, with each claiming to have more unique active users than the other.
Industry insiders have also called into question the number of Nectar card users that Loyalty Management UK (LMUK), which is responsible for running the scheme for partners Barclaycard, BP and Debenhams and Sainsbury’s, has managed to register on a database, following the temporary closure of the online registration facility within a week of launch because of excessive demand.
LMUK claims that more than 11.1 million people have picked up a Nectar card and collected points since the scheme’s launch on September 16, which it says out-weighs a claim made by Tesco in October that it had “over 10 million regular Clubcard point collectors”. However, a Tesco spokesman says: “Over the past 12 weeks we have had 13 million active users and that 10 million figure relates to households.”
Sainsbury’s, which is due to unveil its interim results today (Wednesday), claimed to have registered more than 10 million customers to its Reward Card scheme in 1998 and to have 8 million active users when Nectar was launched.
LMUK claims that it had anticipated the bulk of registrations would be received by traditional methods rather than online and that it has received personal details for 75 per cent of the 11.1 million active users and inputted the details of 95 per cent (or 7.9 million people) onto its database.