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Just a couple of weeks after Sainsbury’s in the UK unveiled a new loyalty card program that works in concert with other retailers such as BP petrol stations and Debenhams department stores, the company has made a series of decisions.

First, it has decided to cut back on newspaper and television advertising for the new program, because estimates are that as many as 50 percent of the households in the UK will have signed up for the program within a few months of launch, way ahead of projections.

Second, it has stopped allowing people to sign up for the card online, because its server simply couldn’t handle the traffic volume at its site.
KC's View:
These are the kinds of problems that most retailers like to have…and somewhat remarkable since as the program was being launched, Asda published its own study saying that people don’t really want loyalty marketing programs. Asda, of course, was just trying to blunt the impact of the new program, but apparently has been unsuccessful at stopping people from signing up.

Whether everybody who signs up actually uses the system is another question.

When we were in Ireland earlier this week, there was much admiring discussion among retailers we spoke to about the Nectar program.