McCarten attacks Tesco Clubcard

Sainsbury’s marketing director Kevin McCarten has attacked Tesco over its Clubcard loyalty scheme revamp.

Claiming Sainsbury’s Reward Card offers greater benefits to customers, McCarten has accused Tesco of “playing catch up” and offering customers rewards with “strings attached”.

In a statement to Marketing Week, McCarten says: “Tesco’s Clubcard is just playing catch-up with Sainsbury’s Reward Card, which is acknowledged as the leading card by UK shoppers.

“Since 1996, our millions of card holders have taken advantage of outstanding offers, in particular the holiday and leisure activities provided by our partner Air Miles.

“Sainsbury’s Reward Card is accessible to everyone and offers all our customers free rewards as well as discounts – no strings attached.”

His comments, which come as supermarkets cut prices across the board to compete with Asda after its takeover by Wal-Mart, follow huge publicity surrounding Tesco’s overhaul of its Clubcard scheme. The revamp by Tesco, the UK’s biggest supermarket chain, offers improved benefits to customers, with those spending more than &£25 a time earning up to 75 per cent discounts on holidays.

Sainsbury’s scheme offers pound-for-pound discounts, or better, at other retailers, including the Arcadia group, Whitbread and Burger King, as well as straight swaps for Air Miles.

The controversy surrounding supermarket loyalty schemes has grown following criticism by rivals such as Morrison’s, Waitrose and Asda, which dropped its pilot reward card this month. They argue that shoppers prefer price cuts to the promotions attached to these schemes.

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