Co-op introduces exclusive discounts for loyalty members

Co-op is hot on the heels of Sainsbury’s, which introduced Nectar Prices last week, and Tesco, the first brand to launch exclusive prices for loyalty card holders.

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Co-op is following in the footsteps of supermarket rivals Sainsbury’s and Tesco by offering price discounts to loyalty scheme members.

The strategy to “turbo charge” its loyalty scheme represents a £240m investment. Co-op has around 4.5 million loyalty scheme members, who currently earn a refund of 2p per pound spent, paid into a ‘digital wallet’ account.

The group, which has more than 2,400 food stores, as well as 800 funeral homes, hopes to recruit a further 1 million members over the next five years, the period over which the £240m will be spent.

Co-op estimates the lower prices could help loyalty scheme members save up to £300 per year. Discounts will include money off the supermarket’s ‘freezer filler’ deal, with members set to save an average of £8 per deal. There will also be exclusive savings offered for members on items like pizza, ready meals and wine.

Co-op chief membership and customer officer Kenyatte Nelson says the launch of the brand’s member prices is aimed at strengthening the appeal of and grow the loyalty scheme.

“Our members lie at the heart of our Co-op, they trade more frequently across our business areas, they create additional value, which is returned back into communities and they have a say in how our Co-op operates,” he says.

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The business will initially target converting customers who shop for food in Co-op’s stores or online into loyalty scheme members.

“Currently around 16 million shoppers visit our stores each week or trade online with us. Our ambition is that many will convert to being Co-op members, when they see the clear value this can bring to both themselves and their wider communities,” Nelson notes.

Co-op is among a host of retailers following the trend, started by Tesco, to limit access to some price promotions to those shoppers who have joined its loyalty scheme. Launched in 2020, Tesco has said it is “thrilled” with the success of Clubcard Prices, with participation in promotions increasing to 25.5% in February 2023.

Meanwhile, last week, Sainsbury’s introduced Nectar Prices, which offers card holders discounts as high as 50% on more than 300 items.

Following the initial investment in food, Co-op says it will make member-investment in its funeralcare, insurance and legal services businesses.

Members will also have access to benefits through Co-op Live, the 23,500 capacity arena in Manchester, to which the group recently acquired naming rights. Co-op members will have the opportunity to access benefits such as pre-sale tickets before general release, hospitality experiences, and the chance to win free tickets for the venue.