Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Tsutaya Operator Adds Extra Points For Frequent Visits
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Culture Convenience Club Co., operator of the Tsutaya chain of video rental shops, will revise its T-Point shared-point program, creating three tiers of accumulation based on purchase frequency in an effort to gain an edge over competing loyalty programs.
Under the revised system, customers will gain a multiplier to their points each month based on how many days they shopped in the previous month. The rate shifts to three points per 200 yen for five or more days, two points for three or four days, and one point for two or fewer days.
The current system uses a single 1% rate, offering one point per 100 yen. This is the first revision since the firm introduced the program in 2004.
More than 100 companies such as FamilyMart Co. (8028) and JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. participate in the T-Point program, comprising about 61,000 outlets, making it the broadest in the country. But competition for customers with the Ponta program, which has over 20,000 partner stores including those of such firms as Lawson Inc. (2651) and Showa Shell Sekiyu KK (5002), has been fierce.
And Internet retail giant Rakuten Inc. (4755) is starting to grow its 80-million-member point program offline, bringing convenience store operator Circle K Sunkus Co. on board. To keep up, the T-Point program has had to add more benefits through such moves as bringing in more partners. It combined its points with those offered by Yahoo Japan Corp. (4689) in July. Although flat rates are standard for shared-point programs, if this move by Tsutaya succeeds, more may follow suit.
According to Culture Convenience's September results, about 30% of T-Point program participants will be placed in the highest point tier. The company aims to increase customer traffic by basing accumulation on frequency, and hopes to see 50% of its membership in the top tier within a year.
In a survey of Tsutaya patrons this summer, over 80% of respondents wanted to see point services based on usage.
(The Nikkei, Oct. 2 morning edition)