Gifts Today magazine

Marks & Spencer unveils Sparks 'membership scheme' for customers

Sparks is the latest in a line of offensives by retailers keen to forge one-to-one connections with consumers as they take advantage of the opportunities created by data and digital tech.

M&S chiefs are keen that Sparks should not be seen as a traditional loyalty scheme – members may get greater rewards for reviewing products online, for instance, than for purchasing.

M&S marketing and international director Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne said: “It’s going back to the roots of retail when a shopkeeper knew their customers and knew them by name.”

M&S insights and loyalty director Suzanna Broer, who joined M&S last year from international retail giant Ahold, said: “Loyalty is the wrong word to use, it’s about a new relationship with customers – recognition, relevance, tailored, and a conversation. We want to go beyond generic discounts.”

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