Retail loyalty company Ice – which offered consumers the chance to collect points when shopping at sustainable retailers – has been forced to shut up shop, just two years after signing a major deal with Mastercard.
The Ice Organisation was launched in 2006 by the former Airmiles duo of managing director Jude Thorne and finance chief Steve Toomey, with ex-Abbott Mead Vickers chief executive and chairman Michael Baulk joining the firm in 2015.
The company promoted sustainable brands, goods and services, with the aim of mitigating climate change through mass consumer purchase power.
Customers were able to accrue Ice points when shopping with retail partners, which included Mitchells & Butlers pubs and bars, Go Ape, River Cottage, JoJo Maman Bébé, TUI, First Choice and ferry operator DFDS.
Ice also supported smaller brands such as Beyond Skin, Komodo, Cred Jewellery, Elvis & Kresse and Rêve En Vert. Shoppers could then spend their points at the participating firms, either online or in store.
In 2017, the firm ramped up its operation by signing a deal with Mastercard, which offered Ice points to all Mastercard credit card holders, whichever bank had issued the card, at nearly 2,000 high street and online stores.
In the same year, Ice Organisation finance manager Klare Meyer was found guilty of stealing £200,000 from the firm to fund a shopping addiction.
Over a five-year period to February 2016, she had paid herself an extra £170,835 while earning an annual salary of £35,000. She also spent a further £22,475 using the company’s credit and debit cards. Meyer was jailed for 16 months.
A statement on the company’s website, MyIce.com, reads: “It is with the greatest regret that we have to inform you that Ice has now ceased trading. The directors will be seeking shareholder approval to put the company into voluntary liquidation.
“In accordance with Ice’s published terms and conditions, any Ice points in circulation cannot now be redeemed and the company has no liability for unredeemed points.
“If you wish you can review the Ice terms and conditions here Ice terms and conditions and Mastercard customers terms and conditions.
“We would also like to reassure customers that the directors are continuing to ensure that all customer personal data is dealt with securely in accordance with GDPR rules.
“The Ice team would like to thank everyone who has supported Ice and our mission to mitigate climate change. We would also like to express our sadness that we have been unable to find a way to allow the Ice business to continue and for any inconvenience and disappointment this has caused to our customers.”
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