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Loyalty Newswire – March 6, 2023

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on March 6, 2023

In this week's Newswire you can enjoy a curated list of the latest customer loyalty, technology, payments, and other relevant marketing news. We include a spectrum of topics, all with the intention of keeping you informed and enabling you to star in your next big meeting.

The Loyalty Newswire makes it simple for busy professionals (e.g. YOU) to quickly digest important industry news and trending topics. Keep reading!

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Victoria’s Secret pilots new loyalty program for VS and PINK customers

Victoria’s Secret & Co. (NYSE: VSCO) announced it will pilot “The VS & PINK Collective,” a new loyalty program for Victoria’s Secret and PINK customers. The VS & PINK Collective is the company's first rewards program that allows customers to earn rewards when shopping both brands regardless of payment method. VS&Co will begin the pilot with 30 percent of current Victoria’s Secret and PINK customers in select states across the U.S. to gather feedback and learnings ahead of the program’s full rollout later this year. Previously, customers would earn perks through the company’s PINK Nation program or by using their Victoria’s Secret Credit Card when they shopped. You can find the full story here.

Michaels offers new credit card tied to Michaels Rewards

Michaels is the largest arts and crafts retail chain in North America, operating 1,275 stores in 49 states and Canada, and online at Michaels.com and Michaels.ca. Working with Comenity Capital Bank, a subsidiary of Bread Financial, Michaels is releasing its new credit card as another enhancement to its Michaels Rewards Program. The Michaels Credit Card offers exclusive perks including up to 9 percent in rewards every day (3-6 percent for non-cardholders in the rewards program and 3 percent additional for cardholders), savings of 20 percent of a first purchase using the Michaels Credit Card and periodic free shipping on online orders.

Audience Rewards, Broadway’s rewards program, celebrates milestones

Audience Rewards, said to be the only loyalty program for Broadway, announced it had reached its 15th anniversary and achieved $1 billion in Broadway ticket sales. Founded in 2008 by the Nederlander Organization, Shubert Organization and Jujamcyn, as well as the Independent Presenters Network and Broadway Across America, Audience Rewards is a loyalty program designed for Main Stem ticketbuyers. The $1 billion in Broadway ticket sales from purchases via its website equates to about 7.5 million tickets sold. Audience Rewards executive vice president Katie Dalton said “That yield in ticket price, 20 percent, which is about $20 to $22 per ticket, times 7.5 million tickets, that’s our impact on this industry.” The program has thrived in part due to partnerships with Amtrack, and continual innovation in its design structure, especially the introduction of a VIP membership tier.

Loyalty Academy training in Amsterdam with The Loyalty People

The Loyalty Academy™ has partnered with The Loyalty People to deliver Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional™ (CLMP™) training in Amsterdam on March 21st - 23rd. This comprehensive workshop will cover loyalty best practices, the latest sector trends, keys to operational business success, and share innovative strategy design with the steps you need to build an effective and profitable program. Don’t miss the opportunity to gain your certification and join this active global group of Loyalty Marketing professionals. Register here.

KDDI, one of Japan’s largest mobile carriers chooses Oracle to modernize its au Ponta Points program

KDDI, one of Japan's top three carriers and the operator of the “au” mobile phone service, has chosen a suite of Oracle database products to modernize its online payment brand, au PAY, and customer loyalty program, au Ponta Points Program. au PAY has approximately 31 million customers, while au Ponta Points Program is one of Japan’s most popular customer loyalty systems. Both au PAY and au Ponta Points Program continue to grow rapidly as Japanese consumers embrace mobile payments and a cashless lifestyle.

SAUDIA and Saudi British Bank launch SABB ALFURSAN Mastercard Credit Card

SAUDIA, the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, and The Saudi British Bank (SABB) have announced the launch of a new cobranded Mastercard credit card. Al Fursan, the loyalty program of SAUDIA that provides members with the ability to earn Reward Miles on purchased SAUDIA and partner flights. Among other benefits, the agreement will allow Al Fursan members to earn a 50%-mile bonus on SAUDIA’s domestic and international flights, in addition to 1 free mile for each SAR 3 worth of SABB ALFURSAN Mastercard Credit Card.

Scuba Schools International Launches New Center Rewards Program

Scuba Schools International has announced the launch of its Center Rewards Program, an extension of its SSI Pro Rewards Program. Scuba Schools International (SSI) was established in 1970 and is now the world’s largest professional business-based training agency for scuba divers, with 3,500+ Training Centers and over 100,000 SSI Professionals in 150+ countries. The Pro Rewards Program is SSI's way of giving back to its professional network of instructors. SSI Professionals can earn Pro Rewards for every certification they issue or new instructor rating they complete. Rewards are tracked on a calendar basis in real time. Pro Rewards can be redeemed at any time during the year to purchase Professional Kits online or to reduce Professional Renewal fees.

Hot Takes This Week

  • EG Group, one of the world’s largest convenience retailers, has agreed to the sale and leaseback on a portfolio of its sites on the U.S. East Coast to Realty Income Corp. for approximately $1.5 billion. This portfolio, which EG America will continue to operate and trade, consists of 415 convenience stores under the Cumberland Farms, Fastrac, Tom Thumb and Sprint banners.
  • Amazon will permanently close eight of its high-tech Amazon Go convenience stores including two stores in Seattle, two in New York City and four in San Francisco. In its statement, Amazon said, “We remain committed to the Amazon Go format … and will continue to learn which locations and features resonate most with customers as we keep evolving our Amazon Go stores.”
  • Costco Wholesale Corp. reported net sales rose 6.5%, to $54.24 billion for its second quarter (ended Feb. 12), up from $50.94 billion last year. CFO Richard Galanti stated “shopping frequency increased 5% worldwide and 3.7% in the United States, with Costco’s average transaction or ticket up 1.9% in the United States.”
  • In a recent article which you can read here, Wise Marketer mused on the value of luxury branded goods. While the richest man in the world is the founder and owner of LVMH, we noticed the news item that The RealReal is cutting operating expenses through layoffs and store closures. According to this article, The RealReal has struggled with profitability, and its year-to-date $151.2 million loss is only a slight improvement over last year.
  • The Fresh Market Inc. continues with its digital transformation and retail media strategy by launching a newly envisioned customer magazine. Previously available in print and online, the new digital-only format is vendor advertising supported and features a fully interactive shoppable experience that provides inspiration for meal planning.
  • A larger format with more co The CRMC made its first announcement of brand presenters for its 2023 event to be held in Chicago June 7-9, 2023. Brands announced include Adidas, Build-a-Bear Workshop, Chico’s, GNC, Lifetime, London Drugs, Majid Al Futtam, Nascar, NBA, Pep Boys and Sonesta. More announcements will be coming soon.

Stat of the Week

Ever want to know what influencers really make? The 2023 Influencer Compensation Study from Intellifluence gives you all the details about pricing and trends in the influencer market. In the press release, Joe Sinkwitz, CEO and Co-Founder of Intellifluence said “There are some other important economic lessons currently playing out that need to be discussed."