Loyalty cards have become a popular strategy among retailers for collecting information about customer purchases and for offering “‘reward points” and other promotions. Many commentators have, however, been skeptical about the value of loyalty cars and, in particular, their ability to cultivate and promote the attitudes and behaviour associated with loyalty. This case study‐based article describes a new application of loyalty cards, which is being piloted in selected Sainsbury’s stores. Loyalty cards are swiped through a slot in a public access kiosk, located in store, to provide customer access to a range of selected benefits. These benefits include recipes, special reductions, information on videos, and other customer service options. The customer selects options by choosing from a simple touch screen. Special offer coupons or recipes are printed on small pieces of paper. Is this new application the basis for an enhanced role for loyalty cards? The article argues that this potential will only be realised if loyalty cards can become an integral part of the relationship with the customer, and cease to be no more than an “‘add‐on”.
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