Loyalty cards make Waitrose one of Britain’s biggest coffee shops

27 December 2013

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.


  • Bourg Z.
    I want some ruddy points with my latte.
  • Mr. P.
    I'd like an irregular coffee please.
  • Kevin
    He has a point. Up to the point where you get your Tesco/Sainsburys vouchers. It's immediate reward vs later reward based on your spending. What else do you get with Waitrose?
  • Jeff N.
    You get a free coffee and cake with a John Lewis card.
  • Patrick
    I now get my lunch time coffee from Waitrose rather than Pret or Costa - that saves me £2.20/day. Given I'm in Waitrose, I often pick up small amounts of shopping for the evening - which I didn't ever do prior this free coffee promotion. BTW, you only get a free newspaper if you spend £5+.
  • Kevin
    Only £5? Bargain. If only Waitrose was a bit closer I'd be in there all the time.
  • Captain W.
    It's dead easy to spend £5 in waitrose, even if just popping in for some milk
  • Mr n.
    Why are there so many poor people at my lovely Waitrose now? I'd rather pay for the coffee and keep the poorer of the species out
  • Bittermelon
    I gave up getting a free coffee as the bitterness of the staff having to do extra work has made the coffee taste awful.

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