M&S chief insists Sparks scheme will lead revival

M&S apes Waitrose for loyalty roll out newMarks & Spencer’s new chief executive Steve Rowe says one of his first jobs will be to tap into the data the retailer has collected from its recently launched Sparks loyalty scheme to gain better insight in to its core customer.
Despite criticism that the scheme is just “paint by numbers loyalty”, Rowe said Sparks will be crucial to helping it to build a closer relationship with its customers as he strives to turn round the business.
In a press call, Row – who joined this week – said: “Fortunately we have a fantastic customer insight device through Sparks, which already has 4 million people in its loyalty programme, up from 3.5 million in the autumn.
“We want to use Sparks as a tool to reach out to our customers and to inform all of our new marketing campaigns. It will enable us to improve and have even deeper insight into how our customers are thinking and shopping.”
Based on the MyWaitrose and MyJohnLewis approach – rather than the Clubcard scheme – Sparks members get tailor-made offers across food, fashion, home and beauty, as well as priority access to new season previews and “sale” products, and invitations to special events.
Customers collect 10 points for every £1 spent as well as extra points if they leave an online product review or donate old clothes to charity through the retailer’s Shwop programme.

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