Bright sparks at M&S launch loyalty scheme

Marks & Spencer is to launch a loyalty-card scheme as it attempts to revive its underperforming clothing and homewares business.

The loyalty scheme, called Sparks, will reward customers for purchases, leaving product reviews on its website or donating clothes to charity.

“M&S is more than a brand to most people. We are going to reward shoppers with the things that money cannot buy, from a chance to make your own perfume to a wine tasting in stores. Loyalty is about more than just spending,” Marc Bolland, the chief executive of M&S, told The Times.

M&S has decided to launch the loyalty scheme, which it describes as a members’ club, after a three-month trial involving 100,000 customers and 24 stores. Mr Bolland set out details to 1,000 store managers at a conference this week.

“They love it. They interact daily with the customers. This is their tool to trade,” he said. Shoppers will earn ten Sparks points for every purchase; an extra ten points for every £1 spent; and 25 for a product review.

A selection of offers will be sent to members every fortnight. For example, members with 3,000 points could be offered a preview of new season ranges or a chance to shop early at the M& sale.

“Customers told us they wanted to be part of something special and that’s exactly why Sparks is a club,” Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, executive director, said.

“As a member you are more than a customer and you’ll get the most from M&S — with tailor-made offers, priority access and invites to exclusive events. It’s a two-way relationship; members tell us what they enjoy, select their own tailored offers and are rewarded for sharing their views.”

“Over 131 years, customers have built a unique sense of trust and ownership in the brand.”

M&S has also pledged to donate a penny to a member’s chosen charity every time they shop with the retailer.