The latest in the recent line-up of new retail partners joining the UK's Nectar coalition loyalty programme is to be mobile telephone operator, Vodafone UK, according to the programme's operator, Loyalty Management UK.
With the addition of Vodafone following First Quench (drinks) and Adams (childrens' wear), Keith Mills, chairman of Loyalty Management UK (LMUK), said: "This sets Nectar apart from other reward programmes. Adding these three brands to our portfolio means that we will have even more to offer key audience segments, especially men, and the younger end of the market."
The new additions, combined, will more than double the number of retail outlets where Nectar members can collect points, and will bring the programme into areas of the country that had not previously been heavily penetrated.
With a combined customer base of over 18 million consumers, LMUK estimates that the three latest retail partners have the potential to bring up to 3 million new collectors to the programme.
From April 2003, all three new partners will come online, offering points for purchases at a combined total of 2,740 retail outlets throughout the UK.
Vodafone UK customers will be able to earn 2 points for every 1 they spend on Vodafone usage. Customers on monthly contracts will receive their Nectar points as part of their regular billing cycle, based on their total spend including calls, wireless data, and even their monthly charges.
Vodafone's pay-as-you-talk customers will be able to earn points when they top up their credit balance. A selected range of goods and services available in Vodafone's high-street stores will also earn points.
Vodafone UK currently boasts some 13.2 million customers, stemming from its range of mobile voice and data communication services. Its network claims to cover 99% of the population, and carries more than 10 million SMS text messages each day.
Drink buyers at First Quench outlets will earn 2 points for every 1 they spend on drinks, snacks, or confectionery in any of the group's 2000 stores, which include: Thresher, Victoria Wine, Wine Rack, Bottoms Up, Drinks Cabin, Haddows and Huttons, and BP Thresher.
When buying childrens' clothing from Adams, Nectar members will earn 2 points for every 1 spent.
The benefit to Adams is clear, as well. Philip Walker, managing director of products for Adams, explained: "Our participation in the Nectar scheme plays a key role in our ambitious growth strategy, in helping to drive full-price sales and further extend our market share."
Adams Childrenswear is a specialist retailer of children's clothing (for 0-8 year olds), with more than 50 million customer visits a year. Employing over 4,000 full- and part-time staff, Adams has 400 outlets in the UK, and has plans to open another 40 high street stores by 2004.
"Nectar is now a truly mass-market programme, worth so much more to both our sponsors and our collectors," added Mills. And now that the programme has picked up the necessary momentum, the list of partners - and the programme's geographical distribution - is set to grow still further in the coming months.