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Food retailing loyalty schemes - and the Orwellian Millennium

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The food retailing loyalty scheme is one of the marketing phenomena of the 1990s with most of the major supermarket multiples now having a customer loyalty card scheme. Consumers reciprocate by possessing loyalty cards - there are 40 million such cards in circulation. By knowing what individual consumers buy, the food retailer should be able to target them with relevant offers whilst the consumer saves money in the process. The dilemma for the consumer is one of cheaper shopping on the one hand and privacy invasion on the other because they reveal details about themselves every time they let their purchases at the checkout be matched with their data file via the loyalty card. The dilemma for supermarkets is whether loyalty schemes create truly loyal relationships or whether they are merely sales promotions.

Keywords: Computer Privacy; Customer Loyalty; Database Marketing; Market Segmentation; Target Marketing

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1999-02-01

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