UK Supermarket Wars: Can Morrisons Fight Back Against Lidl and Aldi with Match & More Loyalty Card?

- Leadership - Oct 03, 2014

Struggling UK supermarket chain Morrisons has unveiled a new loyalty card scheme in a bid to win back customers defecting to discount retailers Lidl and Aldi.

The new Match & More card will award points to customers based on the difference in price on items that can be found cheaper in other supermarkets.

The company has had a troubling year to date, reporting a drop in H1 profits of 30 percent.

First half results were also alarming for retail giant Tesco, who shocked commentators and consumers alike by overstating their profits by a quarter of a billion pounds.

The blunder has led to the suspension of several leading executives including that of Chris Bush, UK Managing Director, who is under internal investigation.

READ MORE: What Next for Tesco After the £250 Million Profit Blunder?

Morrisons Chief Executive Dalton Philips said that the new initiative means that the company will match the discounters along with offering guarantees against Sainsbury’s, Asda and Tesco, whose Clubcard has been in existence since 1990.

The Match & More card works differently to Tesco’s, for rather than offer points for every pound spent, it is based on price comparisons carried out by independent pricing expert Profitero.

For example, if Aldi was to sell a product for 50 pence cheaper than Morrisons, customers could receive 500 points on their loyalty card, with 5,000 points equating to a £5 voucher that can be spent on products in store and also fuel.

The card will be rolled out in stages starting today, with the company aiming to have it fully integrated in time for the Christmas shopping season. It will be an important winter for Morrisons and Tesco, and also Sainsbury’s which likewise has had a fairly rotten year.

It is not clear how much this will cost, but Aldi and Lidl do not produce as many own brand labels and stock many discount brands not available on the shelves of the other supermarkets, which could make direct comparison difficult on a great number of items.

A large accumulation of points also carries the danger of showing to customers that the discount retailers are indeed significantly cheaper, simply posing the question: ‘Why don’t I shop there to begin with?’

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