Catalina expands in France and the UK
Catalina Marketing France, a division of Florida, USA-based Catalina Marketing Corporation, has signed a contract with the French-based Carrefour Group, to begin installing the Catalina Marketing Network in 500 stores, which have recently been converted to the Champion fascia and format. The expansion brings Catalina Marketing Network into 1,000 French Champion stores, and some 2,100 stores altogether in France.
Catalina will provide both in-store and media services, including Checkout Coupon and the Ecoliste Internet promotion services.
The Checkout Coupon system works by recognising products at the checkout as they are bought. Then, using predetermined criteria, the products (or combinations of products) trigger a thermal printer to print customised offers and incentives in real time.
Ecoliste.fr is Catalina France's version of the US company's ValuPage. ValuPage members receive an e-mail detailing offers each week (they have the option of linking their e-mail address to their loyalty card number in order to receive targeted offers). Catalina claims that ValuPage receives millions of visits per week and offers users more than US$40 savings each week. According to Catalina France, Ecoliste users can save 250FF per week with just three clicks.
Carrefour is the world's largest retailer outside of the US, serving more than two billion customers in some 9,000 store in 26 countries. Its Champion division is also expanding its internal presence, especially in Poland, Spain and Brazil.
Teaming with Tesco Meanwhile, over the channel, Catalina UK and supermarket chain Tesco are teaming up. The two have entered into a 'marketing assistance programme and licensing agreement'. Catalina will provide consultancy services and Tesco will be able to use certain Intellectual Property Rights owned by Catalina. Tesco has the lion's share of the UK grocery market - latest estimates put it some 24%. Its own loyalty programme, Clubcard, has over ten million active members.
What's mother doing? In the US, Catalina Marketing Corporation has recently been ranked number 40 in BusinessWeek's top Growth Companies of 2000. Companies are rated on three-year averages in three areas: sales growth, earnings growth and return on invested capital. To qualify, companies must show an annual sales growth between US$50m and US$1.5bn, have a market value of over US$25m and an actively traded share price of more than US$5.
Catalina's Board of Directors followed this by authorising an increase of total funds available for share repurchases to US$75m. Since 1994 the company has repurchased some US$177.7 million worth of shares.
Catalina has been heavily involved in supermarket programmes. This may be about to change. One of the company's latest products is a prepaid gift card which, of course, will not be limited to the grocery industry.