Selfridges card shift

Selfridges, the London department store which has undergone a makeover in the past 18 months, is to overhaul its credit card-based loyalty scheme to beat off growing competition from rivals such as American Express and Visa.

Selfridges, the London department store which has undergone a

makeover in the past 18 months, is to overhaul its credit card-based

loyalty scheme to beat off growing competition from rivals such as

American Express and Visa.



The move comes a few months ahead of the planned demerger of Selfridges

from parent company Sears, scheduled for this summer, and the opening

later this year of a Selfridges store in Manchester.



Marketing director Nick Cross said the competitive points-style loyalty

schemes offered by credit card rivals had affected usage of the

ten-year-old Selfridges Gold Account card.



Cross has appointed through-the-line agency Interfocus after a three-way

pitch to look at revamping the Selfridges card, as well as the possible

launch of a non-credit card-based loyalty scheme.



’The fact is that more people have the Selfridges card than are actually

using it,’ said Cross. ’We need to find ways of encouraging people to

use our card more regularly, and that means offering benefits which are

more attractive than free hem alterations.’



The need to target younger customers is seen as vital, as the average

age of the 150,000 Selfridges cardholders is 45.



’Selfridges has become a dynamic and exciting store in which to shop and

we need to reflect that in the type of loyalty scheme we offer to our

customers, who are predominately a metropolitan audience,’ said

Cross.



One idea under consideration is the setting up of third-party

arrangements with London galleries, theatres and restaurants.



The Selfridges card is managed by Sears and has a turnover of about

pounds 70m.



Its APR is 27.6%.



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