Diana Bird has just launched a great new venture called Wedge Card. Founded with her father, John Bird (founder of The Big Issue), it’s an affinity card specifically geared to encourage loyalty to local shops.
The card costs £20, of which £5 goes to a local charity, £5 to the retailer. The card can then be used to receive on-the-spot discounts at any participating shop, UK-wide. So here’s Goodfellas Deli on Lambs Conduit Street in London, offering 10% off. The list is growing by the day, with many retailers already offering between 5 and 15% off. Retailers just display a Wedge sign in their window – it’s as simple as that! In John’s words:“Wedge is going to help those shops that make the community tick by encouraging the public to buy in the local market place. Because it’s in the family-owned cafes, butchers and bookshops that people get to know one another and become part of their community. If you don’t have a community then you’re more likely to be lonely, and you’re more likely to be lost. The supermarkets don’t make up for that kind of alienation.”
One thing which really appeals to me about Wedge is that the benefits are delivered at the point of every purchase. There are no cobbling together300 points to qualify for a dashboard-mounted car-fan six months later. It’s a simple idea and I hope that it takes off across the UK. With my ‘founding subscriber card’ now firmly in my pocket, I just need to keep my eyes peeled. In a canny move, they take your email address when you buy (optional) so that you can be updated with the latest offers and partners. I’ll keep you posted!