Loyalty cards make Waitrose one of Britain’s biggest coffee shops
The myWaitrose card, a loyalty scheme which offers a free cup of tea or coffee every day to customers, has elevated Waitrose to Britain’s second biggest purveyor of coffee after McDonalds - with one million cups shifted every week.
Of course, these are freebies, but the My Waitrose card has been a phenomenal success, and has broken new ground in the supermarket loyalty card race.
And Waitrose are very ebullient about it. Managing director Mark Price recently attacked other supermarket loyalty cards, branding them ‘meaningless’ and saying that customers were more interested in getting immediate rewards. He said:
‘Giving free coffee or free newspapers is disruptive to the market, but I think that is what customers want, I don't think they want a point. I mean, what is a point? I think it's meaningless. It is about what do consumers value today, not what did they value historically. So green shield stamps, or points, were a response to what happened post-war . . . I just don't think that is where the world is now.’
He is, of course, referring to his rivals Tesco, and their Clubcard, which is currently in jeopardy after City analysts suggested the store should concentrate on slashing prices instead.
The MyWaitrose tea/coffee scheme might not be any more modern or forward thinking than Green Shield stamps, but the punters seem to love it. The scheme will be followed by store modernisations and click and collect points and all manner of middle class bells and whistles. Meanwhile, Tesco’s Clubcard is starting to look a bit tatty round the edges. They'd better break out some emergency free pies - quick.