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[20 MAR 00] RUGBY TOWN CENTRE PARTNERSHIP NEWS
Rethink On Rugby Loyalty Card Scheme
BY ANTONY HOPKER

Town centre managers in Rugby have warned shoppers and traders in the town to stay away from a loyalty card scheme for customers following a series of disappointments.

They are anxious that Centrepoint, the company which is to manage the scheme, has recently been sold and has missed a number of key deadlines in the run-up to the project’s launch.

Thirty-five of the town’s 318 traders had signed up for the scheme, which would give shoppers points that could be exchanged for reductions in utility bills, cash or leisure vouchers.

But the Town Centre Partnership today called on people to boycott the loyalty scheme because of doubts over its future.

Town Centre Manager Robin Richter said an alternative scheme that used more advanced technology would now be sought, but he expected it to take up to six months for a replacement to be up and running.

He said:

"The Partnership believes that if you can see a better option in the long term, it has to be right to wait for that option to develop rather than sticking with one that has a limited sell-by date."

Mr Richter said the delays in the scheme had proved unacceptable, with the February target date for the delivery of the loyalty cards being missed.

He said the scheme was put together following research last year that showed 75 per cent of people in Rugby backed the idea of being rewarded for showing faith with local shops.

He said:

"We’ve lost momentum and people have lost confidence in Centrepoint."

Mr Richter added that the research revealed that people wanted a big department store in the town to increase the range of options.

He said that Debenhams was the preferred option, with Bhs coming second, and space was being made for them in new developments in the town.
   

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CWN / Business / A-Z / Rugby Town Centre Partnership / 20 Mar 00

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