Not exactly a ringing endorsement for the loyalty card scheme
Debenhams has taken the unusual decision of telling its checkout staff not to accept Nectar cards when taking payments. The retailer has decided that the extra time taken to swipe the cards will lengthen queues in the Christmas rush.

A spokeswoman for the retailer said: 'Christmas is an extremely busy time in our stores, and it is of paramount importance that we offer customers the quickest and most efficient service possible. This is particularly important at each till point, where we aim to minimise queue and transaction times. Debenhams supports the Nectar scheme and our customers are fully engaged in the programme.'

Despite Debenhams' official endorsement of the loyalty scheme, the decision to hold off on swiping the cards is likely to be a blow to LMUK, the organisation that runs Nectar, because the move may skew customer data collected over the Christmas period. The strategy also comes after news that Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King is understood to be giving the scheme just one more year to show any material benefit.

LMUK was unavailable for comment.