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David Jones launches loyalty program

In the latest example of its increased focus on the customer, David Jones has launched a new loyalty program called David Jones Rewards

The department store retailer announced the launch on Monday, describing the program in a statement as “the future of retail loyalty”.

The program expands on the retailer’s 11-year partnership with American Express, which rewards customers when they use their David Jones credit card.

The new David Jones Rewards program operates more like a traditional loyalty program, where members receive benefits for signing up to the program and shopping at the department store.

Notably, however, members don’t earn points, and there is no minimum spend to start receiving rewards. Benefits include welcome and birthday rewards, access to exclusive offers, invitations to member events and competitions and automatic entry into a monthly draw to win David Jones gift cards worth $5000 with every purchase.

“The launch of David Jones Rewards today marks a new and innovative direction for our loyalty offering,” said Ian Moir, CEO of David Jones’ parent company Woolworths Holdings, who has been leading the retailer since the departure of former CEO David Thomas earlier this year.

“This is a significant opportunity for us to better engage with our customers and provide a stronger multichannel experience.”

Unlike many loyalty programs, which give customers a physical card when they sign up, David Jones Rewards members will receive a digital barcode they can store on their smartphone in Apple Wallet, Google Pay or the Stocard app.

Stocard, a German mobile wallet provider, launched in Australia in 2017, and has worked on loyalty programs with major retailers, including Woolworths Group, Wesfarmers and Country Road Group.

“We believe our all-digital approach to David Jones Rewards is the future of retail loyalty, and we look forward to our customers joining us on this
exciting journey,” Moir said.

The launch of David Jones Rewards follows the addition of several new brands to the retailer’s offering in recent months, and the launch of Mindfully Made, a new online hub for sustainable brands.

The department store next month will become the exclusive stockist of popular US fashion brands J.Crew and Madewell in Australia, when the brands open ‘shop in shops’ in 11 David Jones stores, according to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday.

Karen Gee, a luxury womenswear brand that shot to fame after the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, wore a design on her tour of Australia last year, has also joined the department store.

Together, these initiatives reflect the retailer’s focus on making its offering more customer-centric, as department stores around the world experience declining sales.

Woolworths Holdings last week issued a trading update, revealing a
0.8 per cent year on year decline in David Jones’ total sales in FY19, and a 0.1 per cent year on year decline in comparable sales.

Online sales, however, shot up 46.8 per cent year on year, and now make up 7.7 per cent of total sales. 

As online sales grow, Woolworths Holdings said the reduction of unproductive retail space remains a priority.

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