Profile: Can M&S new hire put the spark into its loyalty offer?

Marks and spencer

Marks & Spencer has appointed former Tesco Clubcard boss Danielle Papagapiou to reboot its flagging Sparks loyalty scheme.

Papagapiou has joined the high street bellwether as part of a reshuffle of its data and digital teams, as it accelerates efforts to create a “digital-first business”.

In an internal memo sent to staff and seen by Retail Week, M&S chief data and digital officer Jeremy Pee says the new-look digital and data function will focus on six key areas: customer growth and experience, business development and innovation, loyalty, data, data science and digital product management.

As part of that push, Papagapiou will focus specifically on the relaunch the retailer’s Sparks loyalty scheme next year, which boss Steve Rowe says “needs substantial improvement”. Critics say Sparks is confusing for shoppers and relies too heavily on discounting to drive usage in its current form, offering shoppers promotions based on the number of points they have accumulated.

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