Clubcard is no match for US retailers’ offers

The article on Tesco’s challenge to Wal-Mart in the US (MW, June 22) overlooked one of the key factors to Tesco’s UK success with Clubcard: direct mail. The Clubcard has succeeded by offering customers targeted promotions in quarterly mailings, thus giving them a reason to return.

But in the US, more than 70% of grocery retailers already implement in-store targeted marketing through coupons printed at the checkout, providing high-value offers based on what customers buy, rather than giving points on their card. So instead of a quarterly mailing providing a reason to return, every time a customer shops they leave with a relevant coupon and a reason to revisit.

Improving US customer’s loyalty through the Clubcard scheme will be more challenging for Tesco, as it will need to differentiate itself from retailers such as Kroger Co, Alberstons and Myers, which already use frequent targeted marketing to maximise customer loyalty with great success.

Sheridan Thompson,

Client services director,

Catalina Marketing,


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