The Co-op stamps will not be coming back, it has been confirmed, after the society decided to end its ‘double divvy’ bonus in favour of a new loyalty scheme.
The Channel Islands Co-operative Society stopped its double dividend days in March 2020 during the pandemic, replacing them with a 1% loyalty bonus available all the time.
During the Co-op’s virtual Annual Meeting on Tuesday evening, it was announced that the bonus double dividend days would end permanently in favour of a new loyalty scheme that will bring benefits to members in “a more modern and future-proofed manner”, with members able to view their accrued benefits on the members portal.
Mark Cox, the Co-op’s CEO, said members had been asking for the scheme to be updated for years but that the Society had been hesitant to because of the “nostalgia and history” surrounding stamps. However, he added that the machines which create them have now become obsolete.
Pictured: Mark Cox, the Co-op’s CEO.
“Stopping double divvy days gave us the opportunity to implement a temporary loyalty scheme, where members receive a 1% loyalty bonus on a daily basis,” he said. “This has proved to be hugely popular with many of our members telling us its more equitable and accessible," he said.
“We are committed to developing and protecting long-term member value and as part of this it is the right time to invest in our loyalty offering and future proof our member dividend offer.
“This is an opportunity for us to take a leap into the future. We aim to create a scheme where members can spend their loyalty and earned dividend balances in store, check balances more easily and readily through an app, take advantage of offers and even donate to charity.”
Until the new scheme is launched, the Co-op will continue to offer the 1% loyalty bonus every day of the week.
Stores will continue to accept full 4p stamp cards as well as incomplete £1 stamps until the end of 2022. Incomplete 4p stamp cards cannot be used in store but can be paid into share account over post office counters. 50p saving stamps will still be offered.
“We will work with members over the coming months to develop this scheme and ensure the Co-op has the right systems and processes in place to implement the new loyalty scheme,” Mr Cox said.
“We are confident that this new approach will ensure the Co-op can continue to ‘give back’ through dividend, but in a more inclusive way where all members can benefit and we can continue to reinvest in the Channel Island communities that we serve for the next 100 years.”
£8.2m will be returned to members this year and the Society saw a trading profit of £7.2m.
Both the Co-op’s pharmacy and food businesses performed well with the former seeing an increase in sales of 14% and the latter seeing a 3% increase in turnover. This growth offset a reduction in profits from selling holidays and foreign exchange and a 26% reduction in sales of road fuels, areas which were significantly impacted by the pandemic.
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