Boots has agreed deals with about 50 companies that will allow its customers to pick up Advantage Card loyalty points when they shop online with other retailers.
The health and beauty giant will launch an online portal on Wednesday at Boots.com/treatstreet enabling Advantage Card holders to collect points when they shop online with well known names including Asos, eBay, Dixons, HMV, Halfords, Lakeland, Mothercare, New Look and Pets at Home.
Customers will visit Treat Street, log in and then move to the website of whichever retailer they want to shop with.
The site will track the purchase and customers collect at least one point for every £1 they spend. When shopping at Boots, customers collect four points for every £1 spent. Consumers will only be able to spend the points at Boots.
The battle for customer loyalty has intensified in the past year as people shop around for bargains in the recession. Treat Street will allow Boots to offer its customers more reward points in exchange for loyalty, while its partners will be able to become part of a loyalty scheme without the additional cost of joining a scheme such as Nectar.
Alliance Boots health and beauty chief executive Alex Gourlay told Retail Week: “The most important thing for us is to keep customers loyal and Treat Street is part of our plan to offer customers more to keep them coming back.”
Gourlay said Boots has spent nine months researching its customers’ favourite retailers, and he said: “The benefit for those partners is that they get access to our 17 million Advantage Card customers, who will be encouraged to spend with them as they will be earning more reward points.”
The initiative forms part of parent Alliance Boots chairman Stefano Pessina’s strategy of forming partnerships with other retailers and brands to expand its offer. In the UK it has already teamed up with grocer Waitrose to cross-sell, and with Mothercare to produce a kidswear range.
The retailers that have joined Treat Street will not be funding the Advantage Card points directly, but Gourlay declined to disclose details of the financial arrangements.
He said he would consider expanding the offer to stores if it proved successful, and would consider adding further retailers.
However, he added: “We don’t want to have too many partners, as we need to make sure they are all relevant to our customers and to keep it as an exclusive club.”