SPC brings youth loyalty to US retail chains
The Canada-based student loyalty programme, Student Price Card (the 'SPC Card'), has announced that it will bring its instant discount rewards model to the USA in time for August 2010, with a projected first-year membership of some 6.5 million students, as well as more thna 35 national retail chain partners.
The recent downturn and slow recovery of the economy has posed challenges to both student shoppers and retailers. The retail market has seen a fundamental, long-term shift in consumer psychology and purchasing behaviour, and cash-strapped students are looking for greater value for money while retailers are seeking innovative ways to attract new young shoppers.
Retailers are also looking for new ways to encourage existing customers come back more often. Based on almost 20 years of operation in Canada, several of the programme's largest US retail clients have expressed interest in seeing the youth loyalty model into the US. "We believe the time is now right, and have already signed up half-a-dozen national retailers for the US programme," said Student Price Card president, Dean Mazzariol.
The Student Price Card gives students a reason to not only shop, but to shop where they feel appreciated and are given an instant reward for their business. According to retail consultant James Dion, "Many stores have loyalty and reward programmes, but Student Price Card works for all the needs of a student shopper. They can replace numerous cards and schemes with one low-cost card that gets them what they need, when they need it."
According to Mazzariol, "Conventional rewards programmes have a hard time attracting younger customers because many do not have the patience to collect for long enough (or have a high enough spend) to make the rewards worthwhile. Our philosophy, however, is simple: give young shoppers what they want, and they will reward retailers with their loyalty."
SPC members' purchasing behaviour has already demonstrated to the programme's participating retail partners that they tend to be rewarded with higher average spends, more loyal customers, and more active young shoppers.
Retail partners currently include brands such as Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Aldo Shoes, Armani Exchange, Burger King, Champs Sports, Claire's, FCUK French Connection, Foot Locker, Guess, Levi's Stores, Lucky Brand Jeans, Orange Julius, Payless ShoeSource, and Pizza Hut, among others.
The company believes that such established relationships could be the springboard for the progrmame's forthcoming entry into the US market. Student Price Card in Canada has over 120 national retail partners, and over 650,000 student shopper members.