Co-op axes loyalty money-back offer for member prices

co-op 2The Co-op is ditching its money-back scheme, which allows loyalty club members to build up cash towards future purchases, to usher in an expanded range of member-only exclusive prices and deals.

The rewards scheme has been in operation since 2016, when it was launched as part of the “five in one” loyalty revamp; members received a 5% “money-off” reward for any purchases they made of Co-op own brand products and services. This was later cut to 2%.

But the scheme is being scrapped from January 24; instead, members will “benefit from price reductions on branded as well as own-brand foods for the first time”, the company says, along with receiving two personalised offers every week, based on transactional data gathered on each member.

In an email to members sent this week, the organisation explained: “As a member of our Co-op, we’re focused on the things you care about. Our members have told us that managing household costs is a top priority for them. So, we’ve listened and now we’re responding. By making changes to our membership benefits, we’re giving you more immediate value back.​”

Shoppers with existing rewards pots have until December 31 2024 to either spend their rewards with the Co-op or chose to donate them to local causes.

However, the retailer stressed that the move will not affect its local community donations. It added: “Something that won’t change is our commitment to supporting local communities. We’ll continue to do this through our Community Partnership Fund, and a dedicated £4m in funding to support existing Local Community Fund causes.

“By choosing a local cause to support, you’ll get a say in how the Local Community Fund is shared.”

Co-op first launched its member prices scheme in April last year, as it revealed plans to invest more than £240m over the next five years to boost its loyalty programme and help customers save more.

The move replicated Tesco Clubcard Prices, first launched in September 2019, which offers shoppers discounts on hundreds of products in supermarkets and online at the checkout. Morrisons set up a similar scheme in October last year, while Sainsbury’s followed suit last week with the launch of Nectar Prices.

At the time, Co-op chief membership and customer officer Kenyatte Nelson said: “Our members lie at the heart of our Co-op, they trade more frequently across our business areas, they create additional value, which is returned back into communities and they have a say in how our Co-op operates.

“Currently around 16 million shoppers visit our stores each week or trade online with us. Our ambition is that many will convert to being Co-op members, when they see the clear value this can bring to both themselves and their wider communities.”

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