Letter: The value of loyalty

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Surely the growth of loyalty clubs in the high street shows retailers trying to recapture the "good old days" ("To keep a customer in line, simply use a club", 5 May).

When I was young, my mother ordered her groceries by phone from the local shop. The grocer knew her, and had a list of the family's usual requirements, from which he prompted her when she omitted regular items. Our order duly arrived in the boot of his Austin Cambridge. The arrival of a supermarket nearby put him out of business. Now, 20 years later, the supermarkets want to get to know us as individuals, and offer home delivery. That's progress for you!

The good news for the consumer may be that businesses offering a loyalty "club" approach are at least taking seriously the desire to develop a dialogue with their customers and respond more closely to their opinions and needs.

GEOFF DOWNER

Richmond, Surrey

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