KarstadtQuelle and Metro expanding card system

KarstadtQuelle and Deutsche Telekom are planning Germany’s biggest customer card system.

After months of preparation the warehouse and mail order group KarstadtQuelle Essen announced the establishment of a joint venture with Deutsche Telekom. This will link up both groups’ bonus point programmes for loyal customers (Karstadt card, “Happy Digits”).

The details of the cross-company points collection are to be announced at the end of January. Karstadt-Quelle wants to build up a card pool of about 20 million customers and thus outstrip the leading German bonus system Payback, in which the Kaufhof parent company Metro has a stake. Rumour has it that even the Tengelmann trading group is to be incorporated with a few sales lines in the planned Karstadt-Quelle card pool.

Metro upgrading customer card

With 14.5 million users at present, the most circulated customer card Payback, in which among others Real, Kaufholf, dm and OBI have a stake, is to be upvalued by March 2002 with a payment and credit card function from Visa. In addition Alexander Rittweger, boss of the operating company Loyalty Partner, announced new partner companies from the telecommunications and financial services sectors. Some of the online partners, such as Logibyte, booxtra or, will have to make way. In future the Metro Gruppen Einkauf (MGE Metro Purchasing Group) will take over provision of the premiums. Rittweger reckons to have 20 million customer card owners by 2005. At present the premium volume runs to some 100 Million Euro.