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The Tesco Clubcard logo.

Tesco Clubcard is the loyalty card of Tesco, the UK's largest retailer. Clubcard is operated by dunnhumby Limited, a private company now majority owned by Tesco.

Contents

History

A new Tesco Clubcard alongside an old-style Clubcard Key fob

Tesco began investigating the benefit of a loyalty card in 1993, by collecting data from customers and then sending them targeted offers.[1] In 1994, the man responsible for Tesco's trials, Grant Harrison, attended a conference where Clive Humby from dunnhumby was speaking. dunnhumby had been founded in 1989 by Clive Humby, Edwina Dunn and Terry Hunt.[2] The company, offering marketing services, had already signed clients such as Cable & Wireless and BMW.[1]

Humby and dunnhumby's Simon Hay contacted Harrison, who agreed to work with them.[1] Successful trials throughout 1994 led to the Tesco board asking Harrison, Humby and Hay to present their findings. The first response from the board came from Tesco's then-Chairman Lord MacLaurin, who said "What scares me about this is that you know more about my customers after three months than I know after 30 years."[3]

Clubcard was launched in 1995. David Sainsbury, then chairman of J Sainsbury plc, rejected the idea of introducing a similar scheme. However, the effect that Clubcard had on Sainsbury's sales led to the reversal of that decision, with the launch of the Sainsbury's Reward Card in June 1996.[4]

After two slight amendments to the design of cards in the 1990s, the scheme had a major relaunch in 2005 with all members being sent personalised cards and key fobs which could be scanned at the checkout, rather than swiped. The scheme was again relaunched in 2008 with all seven million members once again being sent new design cards and key fobs.

The Tesco Clubcard scheme was introduced into the Republic of Ireland almost immediately after Tesco's acquisition of Power Supermarkets Limited (now Tesco Ireland), and operates in similar fashion. It is an extension of the UK scheme, not a separate scheme, so Irish Clubcards can be used in UK stores. In 2007, Tesco Clubcard was first introduced in all Tesco Extra stores in Malaysia and later in all Tesco stores. In Malaysia, Every two Ringgit Malaysia spent is 1 Clubcard point. After two weeks from the launch of Clubcard in all Tesco stores in Malaysia, there were over 800,000 applications.

The Tesco Clubcard scheme was introduced into the Tesco Stores Poland in 2008 and SR Slovakia in end of 2009 , and operates in a similar fashion, but is not extension of the UK scheme, works a separate scheme, so Irish and British Clubcards can not be used in slovak stores. (It is predicted after Clubcard will launch similarly in Czech republic cooperation with this matket). In Slovakia every one euro spent is 1 Clubcard point (excluded petrol shop).

The Clubcard packs are supplied by a UK company called ID Data who may have worked on similar types of projects for other customers

Benefits

When shopping at Tesco or using Tesco services (such as services from Tesco Finance), Clubcard holders receive one point for every £1 (€1 in Ireland) they spend. Holders can also get double points on special offers and receive one "Green Clubcard Point" for every carrier bag they re-use (UK only), as part of Tesco's green initiative. These points are stored and built up and four times a year the holder receives a statement and vouchers to the value of points they have saved. Vouchers can be spent instore on shopping or used on Clubcard Deals where they are worth four times their face value. These can be used to obtain discounted day trips and magazines.

As part of the Clubcard 2 launch, it was announced that, from 17 August 2009, all instore and online purchases would attract double points (2 points per £1).

Clubcard holders are also entitled to free access to the Clubcard clubs which include: wine club, baby and toddler club, healthy living club and food club. There is also a facility to save vouchers to be sent near Christmas, similar to a Christmas savings scheme.

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Green Clubcard Points

Green Clubcard points are earned when customers re-use bags when shopping in store (one point per bag), or opt out of receiving bagged products when shopping online (one point per ten items delivered). They can also be earned by recycling a limited number of products, currently mobile phones and ink cartridges, through Tesco-branded recycling services. Once earned, Green Clubcard points are equal in value to normal points, but are listed separately on receipts and Clubcard statements.

Double Up

As part of the major Clubcard relaunch, customers were able to take Clubcard vouchers into stores and 'double them up' for a number of departments. These departments included Clothing, Cosmetics Skincare and Fragrances, Wine and Champagne, Toys, Flowers and Plants, Tesco Mobile Top-Up, Tesco Instant Travel insurance and Tesco Instant Breakdown cover. In August 2009, the Back to School range, Tesco Delivery Charge (grocery) and Tesco Opticians were added on, whilst the Flowers and Plants range was taken off. You could not double up for groceries.

Double up worked in multiples of five pounds. For example, if a customer brought in a £5 Clubcard voucher, this would double up to a £10 voucher. However, if a customer brought in a £6 Clubcard voucher, it would still double up to £10, and the remaining £1 (100 points) would go back onto the Clubcard holders account. While normal Clubcard vouchers are valid for two years, double up vouchers were valid to 3 months.

Double Up is no longer available.

Services

Services that take part in the Clubcard scheme:

Double Points are now available across most services, and products.

Privacy concerns

Some Clubcard users have concerns about the information Tesco and dunnhumby hold and what they do with it. Every time a Clubcard is used, a copy of the store shopped in, products purchased and price paid are stored against the Clubcard account. Applicants are asked to provide personal details such as name, address and children. Tesco have stated that this is to help them pick vouchers that are relevant to the holder and also monitor trends to help product availability.[6]

iPhone Application

Tesco have recently launched an iPhone application so points can be collected by presenting a barcode on the handset instead of a keyfob or card. This application may in future offer more functionality including point balances and possibly special offers.[7]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Rigby, Elizabeth (2006-11-11). "Eyes in the till". FT Magazine (Financial Times): pp. 16–22. 
  2. ^ "About us". www.dunnhumby.com. dunnhumby Limited. 2008. http://www.dunnhumby.com/uk/about-us-history-of-success. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  3. ^ Mesure, Susie (2003-10-10). "Loyalty card costs Tesco £1bn of profits - but is worth every penny". The Independent. 
  4. ^ Randall, Jeff (1996-06-23). "Sainsbury plays its loyalty card". Sunday Times (Times Newspapers). 
  5. ^ "Marriott Rewards Members can earn points with partner programmes". www.marriott.co.uk. Marriott International Inc. 2008. http://www.marriott.co.uk/Channels/globalSites/rewards/earn/programs.mi?country=UK. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  6. ^ Rory Cellan-Jones (2007-06-18). "A journey into personal privacy". BBC News on bbc.co.uk. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6763307.stm. Retrieved 2008-06-09. "Privacy campaigners are convinced that big companies, from Google to Tesco, know too much about us - and are not careful enough with our data....While call centre staff don't have access to your data, details of all purchases on Clubcard are stored for up to two years." 
  7. ^ "Nick Lansley's Technology for Tesco.com Blog". techfortesco.blogspot.com. Nick Lansley. 2010. http://techfortesco.blogspot.com/2010/02/tesco-clubcard-iphone-app-launches.html. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 

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