// John Lewis Partnership to roll out combined loyalty card scheme for John Lewis and Waitrose
// Follows a trial in which 60,000 MyWaitrose & My John Lewis members were given a combined card
The John Lewis Partnership is reportedly planning to combine its customer loyalty scheme across Waitrose and John Lewis as part of an integration scheme for the two fascias.
While no launch date has been confirmed for the roll out, Waitrose executive director James Bailey told The Grocer it would “hopefully come soon”.
The news follows a trial in which 60,000 MyWaitrose and My John Lewis cardholders received a combined card two years ago, giving them benefits across the two retailers.
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According to The Grocer, half the 60,000 people who were given the combined card had used it by February 2019.
A spokesperson from John Lewis Partnership told Retail Gazette that while “there are no concrete plans to give at the moment”, more details would be known in due course.
At the moment, there are seven million MyWaitrose cardholders and 2.6 million My John Lewis members.
Last year, the partnership revealed plans to integrate its John Lewis and Waitrose operations at a head office level, which will lead to £100 million in head office savings.
The news comes a day after the John Lewis Partnership revealed its half-year trading update, in which it revealed a massive loss and the axing of the annual staff bonus for the first time since 1953.
For the interim period ending July 25, the parent company of John Lewis and Waitrose made a pre-tax loss of £635 million – a dramatic plunge compared to the £192 half-year profit it recorded this time last year.
However, on an EBIDTA basis, it made a loss of £55 million – a similar figure to what it recorded in the half-year period last year.
The partnership said this still was a “creditable performance” given the circumstances of the pandemic and the lockdown it prompted, and was ahead of expectations set out in its April trading update.
Meanwhile, sales for the half-year period were a touch higher than last year – up 1.1 per cent to £5.56 billion.
The John Lewis Partnership benefited from government support through the furlough scheme, which it exited at the end of July, and the one-year business rates holiday, which helped to offset £50 million of additional pandemic-related costs like safety equipment.
Nonetheless, due to the interim performance the retail giant informed staff that they would not be paid their annual bonus this financial year.