'Loyalty scheme' for independent shops launches in Perth

A new loyalty scheme which will allow people to collect points for shopping in independent high street stores is set to launch in Perth tomorrow - ahead of a UK-wide roll out.

Colin Munro, founder of Miconex, the firm behind the loyalty scheme, tests out the technology in a Perth cafe.

The MiRewards scheme will give consumers points for shopping in local businesses which can be saved up and converted into gift cards to be spent. Users will also qualify for perks, event tickets and “random acts of kindness” for taking part.

More than 50 businesses in Perth have signed up for the scheme, which has been created by Perth-based Fintech company Miconex.

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The concept - which involves a range of business from butchers to florists, hairdressers, hotels and swimming pools - is expected to launch in partner cities including Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as a further 20 cities including Salisbury, Bath and Sheffield over the coming months.

Miconex managing director, Colin Munro, said the scheme aims to reinvigorate the British high street and give residents a greater incentive to spend money on their doorstep.

He said: “I’m really happy to be launching Mi Rewards today. As a city, we wanted to reward people for spending money in Perth. The Mi Rewards programme enables the businesses here to give something back to the people that are supporting them in the form of points which can be exchanged for town/city gift cards and also perks to being part of the programme. This not about pitching one business against another, this is about everyone working together to make the customer feel valued.

“By making business communities more competitive and rewarding consumers for spending on their doorstep, we’re helping to build better local economies and creating stronger places.”

Registered customers are given a point for every pound they spend, then once enough are saved, points can then be converted into gift cards which can be spent back at participating business.

Leigh Brown, chair of the Association of Town and City Management and city centre manager at Perth and Kinross Council, said: “Mi Rewards is a programme which will allow place managers to develop a greater understanding of how people are engaging with their local towns and cities.”

She added: “With the data provided by the scheme, Place Managers will gain a better understanding of how local residents are using their towns and cities and also how we can adapt places to satisfy evolving consumer preferences. With this information we can improve resident’s experiences and the local economy”.

Large store chains have run loyalty schemes for some time, with the best-known operated by Tesco’s Clubcard.