Why have you cancelled double dividend days on Tuesdays and Wednesdays?
We initially cancelled the double dividend days as a prevention against the spread of coronavirus during the height of the pandemic in 2020. It was a difficult decision to make but one we felt was necessary. Our highest priority was the health and safety of our members, customers, and colleagues and this was one of many measures we introduced to ensure safety for all.
By removing the double dividend days on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, it encouraged our members to shop on other days, rather than just on these peak days, allowing us to ensure physical distancing could be monitored and controlled and removing additional pressure on our colleagues when our stores were already very busy.
Are you using the pandemic as a reason to remove the double dividend stamps?
During the pandemic, it was paramount for us to ensure that we were working to prevent the spread of the virus. We felt it was not an appropriate time to be handing out 4p and £1 stamps which require members to lick and attach to cards. We also recognised that the double dividend days were a draw for many of our members so needed to stop the weekly event to control the volume of people in our stores for safety.
These changes allowed us to pause and take stock of our member loyalty proposition. For years many of you have been asking us to update our loyalty offer but we were very hesitant to do so. There’s a lot of nostalgia and history surrounding the stamps and we were never quite sure how removing them would be perceived by some members. On the other side of the coin though, for several years we’ve had many of our members calling for us to embrace technology and remove stamps.
Is this simply a cost saving exercise?
No, this is about ensuring we can continue to develop and protect long-term member value.
There were significant costs involved in the administration of the stamps, from printing, to storage, to the colleague resource required to count all the used cards; over £100,000 a year.
Add to this, the stamp machines we use to issue the stamps are obsolete; no one makes them anymore and as we continue to open new stores, we can’t fit them with stamp machines, nor can we replace stamp machines which are beyond repair.
Additionally, our internal records show that a large quantity of members never get around to redeeming all their stamps. This could be down to stamps being lost or damaged. A digital alternative to stamps will ensure all members receive 100% of their bonus dividend.
Will the double dividend days and the stamps be removed permanently?
Yes. We have taken the decision to withdraw the double dividend of 4% on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and the stamps permanently.
Will something be offered in its place?
We will be continuing to offer our members 1% bonus dividend every day of the week on top of the usual 4% on all qualifying purchases. Therefore, members are no longer restricted to shopping on just Tuesdays or Wednesday to receive member benefits. This makes the bonus dividend more inclusive for our members who couldn’t choose to shop on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
You can see how much you’re accruing in your bonus dividend pot on our Members Portal where it’ll be credited the day after you’ve shopped with us. You can either transfer it to your share account to earn interest or take it out as cash at any one of our member service counters.
Will I still receive my 4% on all qualifying purchases?
Yes. It is just the bonus dividend that has changed. No changes will be made to member dividend.
If there is no double dividend what are the benefits of being a Co-op member? Why should I remain a member of the Society?
Being a member of your Society is more than just earning dividend. You are supporting the local economy and community with a local retailer which strives to support island growers and producers and looks to make a real difference to the communities it serves every day. Every penny you spend with us is reinvested back into the Channel Islands.
We will continue to give back to our members by offering an extra 1% bonus dividend, every day of the week, on top of the regular 4% on all qualifying purchases. No other business in the Channel Islands returns profits to its members in this way.
Can I still redeem my stamp cards in store?
Yes, full 4p and £1 stamp cards can still be used against purchases. Dividend stamp cards are the equivalent to cash and our members will still be able to pay using these until the end of 2022.
Do you still accept incomplete £1 double dividend cards in stores and post offices?
We will continue to accept incomplete £1 stamp cards, so for example if you only have £3 on a card, you can still spend this in our stores. Unfortunately, we can't accept incomplete 4p stamp cards in store but you can pay these into your share account at our post office counters.
If you are no longer going to be giving out stamps, why am I still receiving a receipt?
We have a duty to offer a receipt to our customers so they can see their spend. This does not need to be attached to anything, like the dividend stamps. If you would rather not be given a receipt, then please let our colleagues know when you do your shopping.
What is in the future for Co-op members?
We have a lot of exciting changes planned and are in the process of developing a digital solution to replace the stamps. This will be modernising the Society for the future and allowing us to provide a more practical, convenient, and personalised shopping experience for our members.
I am not great with technology/mobile apps. How is this new facility fair on me?
We understand that change can be difficult. Introducing digital technologies which can allow us to offer a modern alternative for some of our members to track their dividend, interact with their Society and tailor preferences and offers of interest to them is for the benefit of all our members.
We will be engaging with you – our members – on each step of the process to make sure that we are developing a membership scheme which can be enjoyed by as many of our members as possible.
Why are you doing this when people are financially struggling?
We know that the last 18 months have been extremely difficult for everyone. Most of our colleagues were front-line workers during the pandemic and therefore know first-hand the difficulties experienced by all islanders.
Many members have benefitted from the introduction of the 1% bonus dividend every day, rather than being restricted to receiving stamps on Tuesday and Wednesday only. You can see how much you have earned through our online portal, or by visiting a member services counter.
Will you still be offering the 50p saving stamps?
Yes, you can still collect our saving stamps.