File photo: Edcon. (John Woodroof). IOL.

CAPE TOWN - South African retailer, Edcon was scrambling for credit customers a few months ago and now they are rewarding their customers with their revitalised ''thank U'' customer reward programme. 

Edcon lost 485 000 credit card customers over the past year. 

The ''thank U'' programme is Edcon's customer incentive that rewards it customers for spending at their stores. 

In its reconstructed form, the programme now offers customers added benefits and rewards. 

"Our "thank U" programme has been substantially refreshed and strengthened.  This is now more rewarding, far simpler and with many additional opportunities to earn and spend at our approximately 1 330 Edcon stores.  This gives our customers far more benefits than those rewards that the previous card delivered to our millions of card users every day", says Edcon CEO Bernie Brookes. 

There are more ways to earn rewards, more ways to spend and more instant rewards. 

Earn 

Edcon has partnered with South Africa's fuel retailer, Engen. This will see customers now earning points when they fill up at Engen Quickshop Service Stations. Cardholders are rewarded with 150 “thank U” points per litre of fuel filled at Engen Service Stations, effective October 15 2017.

Spend

Customers can now also spend their points at approximately 1 330 Edcon stores. These stores include and are not limited to Edgars, Edgars Active, Jet Mart, Red Square, CNA, Boardmans, TM Lewin, Top Shop, Calvin Klein and Dune. 

Instant rewards 

Shopping with your "thank U'' card at one of Edcon's stores will automatically enter you into a lucky draw. Customers will then stand a chance to win R1 million and more in prizes monthly. 

Other prizes include Kia Picantos, holidays, study bursaries, cell phones and vouchers.

However, in August this year, the ailing retailer reported a loss of nearly 500 000 credit customers. 

Edcon lost 485 000 credit card customers over the past year. 

Edcon's full year annual report releases that their accounts declined from  3.4 million a year ago (and 3.5 million in FY2015) to 2.915 million accounts as at March 25. 

This number has been in steady slump since its 2009 peak of 4.29 million, with declines accelerating since the sale of its book to Absa (/Barclays Africa) in 2012. 

Since that transaction, Edcon has reportedly lost nearly one million (net) credit customers.

The retailer was believed to be in negotiations with Absa to accept new credit card applications. 

However, Absa was unwilling to accept eight out of every ten new credit account applications. 

This resulted in the ill-fate of Edcon, forced to close eight Edgars stores, four Jet stores and five Jet Mart stores in the year ended-March 25. 

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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE