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John Lewis and Waitrose hire Tesco Clubcard architects in loyalty card plot


John Lewis and Waitrose are preparing to launch a joint loyalty card as part of a turnaround push.

John Lewis Partnership, which owns the department store and upmarket supermarket, has brought in the architects of Tesco’s Clubcard to boost its loyalty schemes and lift flagging performance.

A joint loyalty card is planned next year and John Lewis said it wanted to provide customers with “even more benefits”.

The partnership already has a My John Lewis scheme and a My Waitrose scheme, which have five million members and nine million members respectively.

The revamp of the schemes will be led by Dunnhumby, a subsidiary of Tesco that helped create the Clubcard in 1994. John Lewis has struck a five-year deal with the company and has also hired digital promotions business Eagle Eye Solutions, which is run by former Tesco deputy boss Tim Mason, who helped launch the supermarket’s Clubcard.

As part of this push, John Lewis has poached Tesco’s former head of loyalty strategy, Emily Wells, to run all its schemes.

Ms Wells said she was aiming to take the “loyalty proposition across Waitrose and John Lewis to the next level”.

It comes amid mounting efforts by supermarkets and retailers to stop customers defecting. The cost of living crisis has triggered a wave of switching as shoppers hunt out value,prompting a supermarket price war.

Tesco relaunched its Clubcard in 2020 to offer discounts to loyalty card members.

Sainsbury’s earlier this year announced a shake-up of its Nectar card to start offering instant discounts.

John Lewis is battling to revive its fortunes after revealing last month that losses had ballooned to more than £230m.

In response, the partnership scrapped the annual bonus for its 80,000 staff for only the second time in its history.

Dame Sharon White, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said cost-cutting efforts would have to be scaled up after inflation hit “like a hurricane”.

It is aiming to strip £600m of extra costs out of the businesses within the next few years, including overhauling how it runs stores and changing how night staff pick orders.

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