Boots is cutting the points per pound shoppers can earn on their loyalty card by a quarter, while offering discounts on its own-brand products.
The health and beauty chain told customers via email that from May, holders of the Boots Advantage card would collect 3p worth of points for every £1 spent, instead of 4p. They will keep the number of points they have already collected, which will still be worth the same amount.
Boots also announced that cardholders would get 10% off its 6,000 own-brand products.
It is the latest company to make changes to its loyalty scheme as retailers battle rising costs from spiralling energy bills and higher wages.
Last year, Sainsbury’s Bank slashed the Nectar points consumers can earn per transaction by three-quarters.
The change affected 1.8 million active credit cardholders. Before November, they made two points for every pound they spent at Sainsbury’s, Argos, Habitat or Tu clothing; now they get just one Nectar point for every £2 spent.
British Airways has made changes to its Avios scheme that awards passengers loyalty points on flights. As of this year, frequent-flyer points (which can be redeemed for future flights or other benefits) are awarded based on the price of the ticket, rather than the distance flown.
Boots, part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, said it had made the changes in response to customer feedback.
Pete Markey, chief marketing officer at Boots, said: “Customers want to be rewarded with on-the-spot lower prices and instant value. We’ve also noticed that Advantage card members are now more frequently using their points to buy essentials instead of saving them up; we’ve listened and have expanded the scheme to give more instant reward, immediate value and lower prices.”
Customers can save on hundreds of products through the Price Advantage scheme, which has been expanded and allows them exclusive access to lower prices on a range of products, including toothpaste, deodorants and vitamins.
UK shoppers have been switching from branded products to cheaper own-brand items to save money, as grocery price inflation hit record levels in recent months, particularly for fresh food, according to the market research firm Kantar.
Shoppers posting on Twitter were not happy about the changes. One said: “[Boots] said the move was in response to customer feedback. …yeah right! customers thought they were getting too many points from their shop.”
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