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イギリス大手スーパーの一つ、ウェイトローズが(確か)昨年から始めた新しいカードがある。my Waitrose card。これはクレジット機能はないし、ポイントを貯めるベネフィットはない。特定の商品が割引になる特典の他に、始まった当初から何か起きるだろうと多くの人が予想したベネフィットが二つある。一つは、店内にカフェ・コーナーがあるウェイトローズでは、このカードを提示すると、買い物をしなくてもコーヒー等のホットドリンク一杯が無料になる。二つ目は、会計が£5−になると、特定の新聞を無料で提供するというもの。昨日、週末のファイナンシャル・タイムズに以下の記事が掲載された。

Labour creates storm in a coffee cup over Waitrose loyalty scheme

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The Labour party has accused Waitrose of stealing trade from small high street shops by giving a million free coffees and newspapers to its customers every week.

In its latest salvo against big business, Labour said the myWaitrose loyalty scheme was having a “stark effect” on small coffee shops and newsagents across the UK.

Andy Sawford, shadow communities minister, has written to every MP with a local Waitrose asking them to press the chain to make changes to the scheme in the “spirit of fair competition”.

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Mr Sawford urged MPs of all parties to write to Mark Price, managing director of Waitrose to tell “him that his company is acting in a way that will further destroy the British high street”.

Mr Price described Labour’s claimed as “nonsense” and said Mr Salford was “completely misguided”.

Until now Waitrose has been held up by politicians from all parties as the model of good capitalism. Nick Clegg has even called for a fairer “John Lewis economy” in reference to Waitrose’s parent company, which is owned by its staff.

Shoppers with a myWaitrose card are entitled to a free daily tea or coffee, including cappuccinos, lattes and mochas, even if they do not buy anything else in store. They also receive a free copy of most daily quality newspapers if they spend more than £5.

The scheme, which has about 4m members, has upset some traditional Waitrose shoppers, who feel that offering free hot beverages is attracting the “wrong type” of customers to the aspirational supermarket.

Waitrose is estimated to be giving away 1m free cups of coffee and nearly 1m newspapers to its 5.6m customers each week.

Mr Sawford, MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire, wrote in his letter that Waitrose had “many admirable characteristics” as an employer and contributor to local communities.

But he added: “I am concerned that its current customer loyalty scheme is having a very negative impact on specific types of local small businesses.”

The MP argued that the myWaitrose card was different to other supermarket loyalty schemes because it gives away products that are sold by independent newsagents and cafés.

“The company’s policy may be providing it with some competitive advantage in relation to other supermarket rivals but this is at the cost of the impact on these local small businesses,” he said. “I have seen the stark effects of the Waitrose scheme on the turnover of businesses in my own constituency.”

Labour has cast itself as a defender of customers and small companies against the interests of “big business”, pledging to introduce a cap on energy bills and a bankers’ bonus tax if it wins next year’s general election.

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However, Tim Britton, head of research at pollster YouGov, warned that it was “risky” for Labour to turn its fire on Waitrose because of its high satisfaction ratings and “very, very loyal customer base.”

“There aren’t many people thinking negative things about them, that makes it a dangerous business to attack,” said Mr Britton. “But people like them for behaving in the right way. If they’re seen as doing down the little guy it could rebound on them.”

Mr Britton said there had been a slight rise in “negative buzz” around Waitrose since it launched the loyalty scheme late last year.

One local newsagent, Chris Cant of Oundle News, said he had seen newspaper sales plunge a third since a local Waitrose opened in October. “The day they opened we started to get squeezed,” he said.

Mr Price rejected the criticism, saying the world needed to “wake up, frankly”.

He said newspaper circulation had gone up last year, partly because of Waitrose giving papers away

“What I feel I’m doing is just defending the freedom of the press,” he said. Mr Price said free hot beverages were “common currency” on the high street, with coffee shops, hotels and garages all giving them away.

“This is a completely misguided comment that fails to understand how the world is moving, and the relationship that businesses need to develop with their customers,” Mr Price said.

He also dismissed the idea that there had been “systematic abuse” of the Waitrose card to obtain free coffee, saying there was no evidence of people “freeloading”.



Labour backs down in 'absurd’ Waitrose row


The Waitrose coffee revolt: Regular customers complain that free drink offer 'attracts too many chavs'






- ハマちゃん





2014.03.03 Mon 12:13 URL [ Edit ]

- 守屋

ハマちゃん さん



2014.03.03 Mon 21:29 URL [ Edit ]


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