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
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
Its APR is 27.6%.