As we first reported back in June, Austrian grocer giant Woolworths planned to revamp its Woolworth Dollars loyalty programme - launched in January 2016 with a AU$500 million investment - after a backlash from both customers and suppliers over the complexity of the programme, the end and then reinstatement of its partnership with Qantas, and the anemic earning structure. A recently leaked document reveals details of the new programme structure.
The story was broke by Australian Business Traveller (ABT), which obtained a leaked document sent to store managers. The document reveals that the new programme will launch on August 31, and will be structured around a "Woolworths Points" promotional currency that will allow shoppers to earn one point per dollar spent at Woolworths supermarkets, affiliated Caltex service stations, and BWS bottle shops. The new programme also reinstates the points conversion partnership with Qantas. Details from ABT:
"Unlike Woolworths' previous Everyday Rewards scheme, there will be no minimum spend before you start earning points. $2,000 of groceries buys you 870 Qantas Points. When their balance reaches 2,000 Woolworths Points customers can convert that haul into 10 Woolworths Dollars – which in turn is good for an instant $10 discount at the checkout or can be converted across to 870 Qantas Frequent Flyer points...The grocery giant intends to kickstart the new scheme with a series of ‘double point’ offers on selected categories and product lines 'between now and December, starting with fresh fruit and veg, fresh meat and behind-the-counter deli and seafood.'"
The Australian business press has been hard on Woolworths, and the company has endured a sustained barrage of criticism on the existing programme through social media. As we said in our June report, the company certainly has made its share of mistakes. With the company also plummeting to a record annual loss of AU$1.2 billion following its decision to shutter its Masters DIY co-venture with US-based Lowes, Woolworths will most certainly be glad to see the end of 2016.
But Woolworths seems committed to righting its loyalty ship. While the new programme may not please everyone, the company is doing the hard work to correct its mistakes and build a programme that will please shoppers and suppliers alike. We look forward to watching it roll out.