Arab Today, arab today tesco plans loyalty card to stem slide at us chain
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Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Tesco plans loyalty card to stem slide at US chain

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Tesco plans loyalty card to stem slide at US chain

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Tesco, the world\'s No 3 retailer, will test a version of its successful Clubcard loyalty card in the US as it battles to stem losses at its Fresh & Easy chain. The British supermarket group said yesterday it would trial the card, to be called \"Friends of Fresh & Easy,\" in seven stores in central California this autumn. If successful, it could be rolled out across the chain by the end of February, the Financial Times newspaper said, quoting Fresh & Easy chief executive Tim Mason. Fresh & Easy racked up £186 million (Dh1.09 billion) of losses in the year ended February, more than analysts\' expected and putting a question mark over Tesco\'s goal, launched in 2007, to conquer the US with discounter-style neighbourhood stores. New Chief Executive Phil Clarke has pledged a significant reduction in losses this year and that the chain will break even towards the end of the 2012-3 financial year. MF Global analyst Mike Dennis, a long-standing critic of Fresh & Easy, said earlier this month a loyalty card would be a high-risk strategy for a chain which has relied heavily on money-off coupons to drive sales. \"It could confuse shoppers who are meant to believe that Fresh & Easy is a already price competitive and could impact sales in the change over process from coupons to collecting loyalty points,\" he said. Espirito Santo analysts, however, said the commitment to a loyalty card suggested Tesco management were more comfortable about the underlying Fresh & Easy business. Tesco said US loyalty card holders would earn one point for every dollar spent and would be able to exchange their points for cash-back rewards. Tesco\'s Clubcard scheme is one of the most successful in retailing, with over 30 million members in 12 countries. From / Gulf News

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