Sears and Kmart create a blended frequent shopper and gift card program, the Christmas Club card. The Christmas Club is a great example of how retailers can creatively respond to consumers resistance to rely on credit cards to finance purchases. In addition, it provides a branded “savings” account the enables a retailer to lock in share of holiday spend for the upcoming holiday season.
The Christmas Club card promotion begins August 16, 2009 and runs through November 14, 2009. Cards can be activated anytime during this period, but rewards will only apply to those who consumers who activate a card by October 31, 2009. Consumers receive a reward based on the value of the card on November 14, 2009 – and only if they’ve activated your card by October 31, 2009. A 3% reward (up to $100 per card) will be added to the consumer’s card based on the balance on their Christmas Club card on November 14, 2009. The reward will be added to the consumer’s card by November 25, 2009.
As reported in DMNews, August 17, 2009, “The company introduced the cards in response to customer feedback, said Susan Ehrlich, president of financial services, at Sears Holdings, in a statement. “We heard that our customers were concerned about how they were going to pay for their holiday shopping this year and we wanted to provide a way to ease that concern,” she said. “The Christmas Club card provides a unique way for Sears and Kmart customers to start planning for their holiday shopping ahead of the hustle and bustle of the season and earn a reward for planning and saving ahead.”
In a recent survey commissioned by Sears and Kmart, 58% of American consumers said they are more concerned about how they are going to pay for their holiday shopping this year compared to last year. In addition, 56% said they plan to save money for the winter holidays this year, with 32% saying they have already started saving for the holidays and another 38% saying they plan to start saving soon.
The survey also indicated consumers are planning to change their holiday shopping habits, with 72% saying they plan to do things differently this holiday season. This include 57% who said they will be spending less on gifts, 53% who will be shopping at more affordable stores and 49% who will be planning and setting a shopping budget ahead of time. And, 33% of those who plan to do things differently this year say they will be using their credit cards less this holiday season.”
I looking forward to seeing how consumers respond to this innovative holiday offering.