Blog Fairtrade Shopping

The loyalty card – why now is the right time to press pause.

The History…

We introduced our loyalty card in early 2017, it was was designed by Chloe, our French intern and rolled out to customers to celebrate our second birthday. We launched the loyalty card more of a thank you to our customers for shopping with us, rather than a means of encouragement to bring in new customers. We know that you can buy coffee, tea and other things cheaper elsewhere and have always been so delighted when people share our vision for a better way to shop, and choose to spend their money with us, and this was our way of saying ‘thank you’.

Initially, the card was simply a way of customers saving on their shopping -with a £5 refund given for every £50 spent, but in time it developed and after feedback from customers, we decided to give people the option of either having £5 off their bill or donating the £5 to one of our shop charities.

The numbers – how much have we actually given away?

Since the loyalty card was launched we have given away approximately £18,000. This includes over £5,800 split between the five charities we support – an incredible achievement, and something we are really proud of. On top of this around £12,000 has been given back to customers – showing just how many people have regularly shopped with us over the past 6 years.

Why is now the right time to pause the loyalty card?

There was never going to be a ‘right’ time to press pause on our loyalty scheme, we know how tight money is for many of our customers and the difference saving £5 really can make. We also know that charities too are feeling the squeeze as they see donations drop too. We have had to go back to our foundations as a shop, and remember the core reason for our existence – to show that trade can be done differently, and it is possible to run a profitable business whilst treating everyone in the supply chain (including customers) fairly.

Fair Trade is a long term, sustainable method of providing individuals and communities with what they need to lift themselves out of poverty, to provide for their families in a way that is safe and free from exploitation. We want to continue to be able to buy from the suppliers and producers who are trading in this way, to help provide a marketplace for their goods and to show off their skills and talents as artisans – we can’t do any of that if we are no longer in business.

We also want to be able to continue to give our profits away to TASTE, we believe passionately in the work they do to change lives in Nigeria and unless we make a profit, which at the moment looks unlikely, we wont have any to give away. The bills are huge – utilities, rates, staff wages have all gone up, we’ve already been forced to put up our prices and it’s still hard. We’re doing everything we can to make a profit, and sadly pausing the loyalty scheme is one thing that is needing to happen, we really hope and pray that we will have a successful November and December and continue long into 2024!

And yes, it really is just a pause…

The loyalty card will be back – we have confidence that things will change and we will be able to re-launch it soon. And when we do, you’ll be the first to know!

But in the mean time, you can help us by shopping with us this Christmas, recommending us to friends and leaving us a Google review!

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