When lemonade is better than whisky: investigating the equitableness of a supermarket’s reward scheme

Cathy Parker (Cathy Parker is Senior Research Fellow (Services Marketing) in the Department of Retailing and Marketing at The Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester and Visiting Fellow at Manchester Business School.)
Steve Worthington (Steve Worthington is Professor of Marketing of Financial Services at Staffordshire Business School, Staffordshire University, Stoke‐on‐Trent, UK.)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Publication date: 1 December 2000


Store incentivisation and reward schemes are an increasingly common aspect of UK grocery retailing with most large‐scale operators investing in such schemes. Despite their popularity many researchers have questioned whether or not store loyalty schemes do, indeed, deliver in terms of encouraging loyalty behaviour from their customers. In this paper the authors take the consumers’ perspective and investigate whether one such scheme (Safeway’s ABC card) “delivers” in terms of equitably rewarding the loyalty of those customers that participate in the scheme. From the analysis it is concluded that the scheme does not appear to be operating in a fair and equitable manner, as consumer fidelity to the scheme is not rewarded above non‐fidelity. Areas of research are identified that may help to discover whether retailers are rewarding the loyalty behaviour of their customers in a fair and ethical way.



Parker, C. and Worthington, S. (2000), "When lemonade is better than whisky: investigating the equitableness of a supermarket’s reward scheme", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 28 No. 11, pp. 490-498. https://doi.org/10.1108/09590550010356859

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Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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