Sainsbury tries loyalty scheme…

Sainsbury is to test a voucher-based loyalty scheme at its new Savacentre in South London which could be rolled out into Sainsbury’s stores if its proves successful.

Insiders say it is one of a number of loyalty initiatives that Sainsbury’s will be testing as it looks at ways to hit back at Tesco’s Clubcard loyalty scheme.

The Savacentre scheme, understood to be similar to the Catalina system used in 134 Asda stores and tested by Somerfield, will appear in August at a new store in Sydeham.

It uses electronic point-of-sale technology developed by US telecommunications giant AT&T. When products are swiped through the checkout, the system automatically produces vouchers offering money off and other special offers.

A Savacentre spokeswoman says Sainsbury’s often uses Savacentres as a testing ground for new ideas.

Sainsbury has this week announced a shake up in its marketing team and appointed a third marketing director below board level. Director of marketing Anthony Rees becomes director of marketing strategy, working alongside John Renshaw, director of marketing services. Mike Conolly, director of off-licence, becomes director of operational marketing. All will answer to board marketing director Ivor Hunt. A Sainsbury spokeswoman says: “We had been under-resourced in this area and we are now increasing the emphasis on marketing.”