Superdrug takes on Boots with loyalty

Superdrug is preparing to launch its first loyalty programme in a bid to narrow the gap on market leader Boots.

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Superdrug has lagged behind its rival Boots which has operated its Advantage card programme since 1997 and currently has 16 million members.

Loyalty schemes provide retailers with data on customer behaviour and allow them to develop highly targeted marketing campaigns and build a business strategy around customer information.

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Dan Jarvis, Superdrug head of marketing, says the scheme has been designed to help customers earn and redeem points online and in-store and benefit and personalised offers.

“This year it’s all about our customer, rewarding loyalty, offering the best everyday beauty on the high street and online and doing it in an unmistakably Superdrug style,” he says.

The health and beauty retailer is currently looking for a CRM agency to manage the programme and design a campaign ahead of the May launch.

Last year Superdrug launched its first television advertising campaign for 10 years, featuring Gavin & Stacey actress Joanne Page as its brand ambassador.

Superdrug operates 900 stores in the UK and is owned by China based retail group AS Watson, which operates 9,000 health and beauty stores worldwide. AS Watson operates a number of loyalty schemes and has more than 35 million customers signed up to its programmes.

In its recent Christmas trading update Superdrug reported a 1.7% increase in sales for the five weeks to 1 January.

For the year to 26 December 2009, Superdrug reported flat sales of £1.08bn but an increase in operating profit of £6m, from a loss of £2.4m in 2008.

Rival health and beauty retailer Boots operates 2,500 stores, which include high street opticians, pharmacies and airport stores.

For the year ending 31 March 2010, Boots reported it doubled its pre-tax profit to £602m and a 9.6% rise in revenue to £22.5bn.

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