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Comment: Right of Reply

The Sainsbury's Reward Card Manager responds to a recent article by David Lister
DAVID LISTER'S article, "I urge you all to shop randomly", raised some interesting points regarding the practices of supermarket loyalty schemes.

The aim of Sainsbury's loyalty card is to reward our valued customers - it's our way of saying "thank you". There are more than 14 million Reward Card holders who can collect reward points and convert them into free flights, cinema tickets, meals out, high-street fashion, and money off their shopping.

Sainsbury's is very proud that our Reward Card scheme is consistently voted the number one supermarket loyalty card by UK shoppers because it offers the most comprehensive range of customer benefits, spanning 15 leading retailers and restaurants, travel and leisure, telecommunications and electricity.

With regard to your "Big Brother in the storeroom" analogy, this totally contradicts Sainsbury's commitment to our customers.

When customers join the scheme, they are under no obligation to supply us with information about themselves. The customer data we hold is provided voluntarily and the information is not passed on to any third party, with the exception of the Reward Card partners. The partners receive information only on customers who have participated in their offers, and even in this case customers have the opportunity to "opt out" of receiving any additional information from them.

The Reward Card offers Sainsbury's an opportunity to gain a better understanding of an individual shopper's preferences and to tailor products, as well as communications, to the benefit of the customer. Thus, it helps us at Sainsbury's to achieve our aim of being the customer's first choice for food shopping.