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Cambridge is to become the first city in the UK with its own fully electronic loyalty card for cooperative use by shops, restaurants and leisure facilities.

Launched by the Cambridge City Council in conjunction with the online eating out, shopping and what’s on guide Local Secrets, ‘The Cambridge Card’ is the result of two years’ development and comes out in May 2007. It provides all the features of database-driven loyalty systems used by major retailers, but has been adapted to the needs and of a wide range of retail in and around the city.

It comes ahead of the opening of two major retail developments in the city – The 450,000sq ft Grand Arcade (due to open spring 2008) and the 78,390 sq ft Christ’s Lane, opening before Christmas this year.

With a minimum of technical demands and full training provided, the automated electronic system allows retailers to sharpen profit margins by bringing in more trade off-peak, encouraging their best customers and focusing interest on high-profit goods. Participating businesses will also benefit from a high-profile launch campaign in May.

The Cambridge Card will have the advantage of mass support from the start by replacing the 15,000 or so city Leisure Cards, the discount-card type resident card now in circulation. It will win many more consumers in the mass promotional campaign.

As a loyalty card, The Cambridge Card is free with distribution via mass special promotions or, for those who miss the promotions, online for a £1.95 handling fee. When the card is upgraded with a validation sticker (£2.20-£9.50 for city residents and £15-£30 for non-residents), it serves as the city’s resident card and gives the holder 20%-50% off access to the city’s pools, sports facilities and money off at colleges and punting trips.

Further distribution of the card will be strategically targeted to local customers, enlisting the support of participating outlets, major local employers, clubs and associations, who derive promotional and fund raising benefits from taking part.

Believed to be the first electronic loyalty card to be launched by a city on behalf of its residents, the system works with a remote data base linked to a stand-alone terminal or PC at the till and is part of a larger package of local use consumer cards to be added over the coming months.



For further information please contact www.localsecrets.com, call 08707 201 205 or contact marketing@localsecrets.com.

Press contacts: Neal Robbins, Managing Director, Local Secrets Ltd 01223 421103/mob 07901668785;Ian Ross, Recreation and Facilities Officer, Parks and Recreation, Cambridge City Council 01223 457536, mob 07766 247961.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Cambridge PR in the following categories: Business & Finance, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.