M&S confirms ‘Sparks’ loyalty card trial as it ramps up personalisation offering

M&S has confirmed to Marketing Week that it is currently trialling a plastic loyalty card among selected staff and customer research groups as it looks to increase the brand’s personalisation offering.

Marks and Spencer's

The card, which is currently under the name Sparks, is a conventional plastic offering that gives customers points in return for purchases across food and general merchandise.

It’s not been confirmed yet whether the card will also offer exclusive benefits and personalised offers to member – much like the rival MyWaitrose card and its free customer coffee offer – as originally reported by Reuters.

An M&S spokeswoman told Marketing Week: “We’ve said that being more in-touch with our customers is one of our key priorities this year.

“We are exploring opportunities for greater personalisation and are trialling concepts for a membership scheme.”

Back in June, M&S filed two trademarks for ‘Sparks’ and ‘Sparks: More For You’ with the Intellectual Property Office under the loyalty card category.

At the time M&S refused to give any concrete details, only stating: “At our recent Prelims presentation we said that being more in-touch with our customers was one of our priorities for the year ahead but we would not comment on rumour and speculation about future activity.”

However, the confirmation today (September 30) shows that preparation for Sparks is now at an advanced stage and the loyalty offering is now expected to launch before the end of the year.

An industry source previously claimed the loyalty card would launch as plastic only, with no plans to include a digital variant.

In the past, M&S’ chief executive Marc Bolland has spoken about the need to translate strong food performance into its flagging GM business.

A loyalty card could help to generate more cross-sector purchases and allow M&S to get the same consumer data that its supermarket rivals such as Tesco are accustomed to through their respective loyalty schemes.

Hide Comments1 Show Comment

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here