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Marks & Spencer to launch new members club

Marks & Spencer is to launch a new style of customer membership scheme called Sparks.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Marks & Spencer to launch new members club

Marks & Spencer is to launch a new style of customer membership scheme called Sparks.

The launch on 22 October will follow a three month trial where the retailer recruited over 100,000 members to road test and refine the offering.

Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, executive director at Marks & Spencer said: “Customers tell us they want to ‘be part of something special’ and that’s exactly why Sparks is a club. As a member you are more than a customer and you’ll get the most from Marks & Spencer – with tailor-made offers, priority access and invites to exclusive events. It’s a two way relationship; members tell us what they enjoy, select their own tailored offers and are rewarded for sharing their views.”

Developed in collaboration with 600 Marks & Spencer customers, the scheme will offer a range of lifestyle benefits across food, fashion, home and beauty with members collecting points in three different ways.

Customers will receive 10 sparks for every purchase and 10 for every £1 spent. In addition, they will receive 25 sparks for a product review or 50 sparks when they participate in the retailer’s Shwopping scheme.

On joining, members will receive a welcome offer such as a 10% discount on a department or a free beauty product when they buy lingerie. A tailor-made selection of offers will then be sent to them every fortnight and as members build more sparks they can unlock up to four tailor-made offer slots at a time.

At 3,000 Sparks members will begin to unlock priority access to give them a first preview of new season ranges or the chance to shop the online sale 24 hours in advance at 7,000 sparks.

Once a customer amasses 14,000 sparks, they will be offered access to special invitation only events and masterclasses – from food tasting to exclusive shopping evenings with catwalk shows. At 17,000 sparks, members will be able to enter special draws where prizes will range from a trip to an Marks & Spencer South African vineyard to winning Christmas Day on Marks & Spencer.

Every time a customer shops, Marks & Spencer will donate a penny to the member’s chosen charity which is selected at registration.

Marks & Spencer said the upcoming launch has been made possible by the recent transformation of its infrastructure and in-house digital capabilities. Members will be invited to download the free Marks & Spencer App where they will be able to manage their Sparks membership and check in daily to view their progress and unlock new benefits. Members will be able to collect sparks via the retailer’s website and by using their Sparks card in UK stores.

Bousquet-Chavanne continued: “Over 131 years, customers have built a unique sense of trust and ownership in the brand and a members club is the natural evolution. And now is the right time for Marks & Spencer; thanks to our infrastructure investment and the breadth and depth of our product offer, we can deliver a club that sees us collaborate with our members to build a better Marks & Spencer together.“

Customers will be able to collect a Sparks card from Marks & Spencer stores and invitations to join the club will be sent to selected Marks & Spencer Bank customers, Marks & Spencer.com customers and shareholders from today.

To kick start the launch, the retailer will run ’14 Days of Sparks’ in store and online between 22 October and 4 November where every day all registered members will be entered into a free prize draw.

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