Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Local customer loyalty card scheme



Near where I live the Oxford Road is currently full of small diverse shops, mostly family run, with very few chains or franchises. I see this as a wonderful thing thats increasingly rare in this country, where most high streets are the same regardless of which town or city you happen to be in.

Naturally the big shops see this as a market to invade and conqueror, and Tesco has done this on Monday. Local politicians think this is wonderful news, and have swallowed Tescos line that they're presence will help, as people will park at the superstore and visit the smaller shops. This is a fantasy, Tesco are always looking for new product ranges to get into, no small shop is safe. They cant compete on price with such a giant in the marketplace. It used to be that the competition commission protected them from dominance, but the current lot seem to be in the pocket of big business.

One scheme to help the local shops is a customer loyalty card, I've found a few examples of this around the country. The Greens in Lewisham London have proposed this, it is definitely worth looking at.

See:
www.haslemere.com/news/item.php?id=99
www.actionaid.org.uk/100697/loyalty_card_launched.html
www.independent.co.uk/news/business/sme/retail-local-loyalty-pays-off-399222.html

2 comments:

a very public sociologist said...

Bucking the trend, with the coming of thousands of Poles into the Stoke-on-Trent area a Polish deli opened directly opposite the Tesco in town and appears to be thriving. Tesco have tried to compete by stocking Polish foodstuffs but the deli's still going strong.

Adrian Windisch said...

You give us some good news, but thats only one instance unfortunately. Tesco are far to big, and are geting bigger. They have too much power over producers of food, have a land bank of future development that shuts out rivals. And too much influence on the competition commission.