I saw a little snippet of a report on the BBC morning news today about a town in Shropshire that has implemented a loyalty card scheme in order to increase footfall and keep people shopping local and I wondered to myself if something like that would work for our local towns?
I?ve just googled and found this article from the Shopshire Star which outlines the scheme. The cards cost £2.50 each and with this you get special discounts are the stores that are registered in the scheme.
Visit the shoplocalns.com site to read more about the scheme (warning: layout is crazy in Firefox), and looking at the offers available there are a variety ranging from straight off discounts of 5% off everything through to offers on certain items.
Loyalty cards can work, just look at Tesco, but without the support of local businesses, local council, and the local public they can fail miserably too. It?s worth noting that the scheme was funded by a £5,000 grant from North Shropshire District Council, and this kind of input from Thanet District Council would show that they have commitment to the local towns and not just the developments at Westwood.
Student Republic, a Canterbury based company has had massive success with their SR-Card, formerly known as the Cant Pass, and a look at the website will give you more info. The card is aimed squarely at students and that is reflected by the offers available which are normally with nightclubs, trendy clothing shops, hairdressers, etc, but it shows that something like this can succeed.
Primarily a loyalty card would need funding, but if it is organised and run well that I believe it could be a success offering the public value in harder times, but also helping local businesses by promoting them and directing traffic their way. That focuses mainly on individuals but it would also help the town centres as a whole too.
What do you think?