In the United Arab Emirates, hypermarket retailer Carrefour aims to reward its thousands of loyal shoppers with the launch of its new, free-to-join 'MyClub' loyalty card, which offers loyalty points for all spending on fresh food, groceries and household items. This article is copyright 2012 The Best Customer Guide.

Carrefour, which is operated throughout the region in a joint venture with Majid Al Futtaim Group, officially launched the programme in April. The programme is intended for all customers, whether they shop on a daily, weekly or monthly basis at the store.

According to Henry Changeux, Carrefour's GCC Country Head, "The introduction of this new initiative is an example of our company's ongoing investment in and commitment to its UAE customers. The MyCLUB loyalty programme, combined with our increasing store footprint and continued commitment to value, quality, convenience and choice, aims to put us at the forefront of the retail industry in the Middle East."

The Carrefour MyCLUB loyalty card is free of charge and is available upon request in any Carrefour Hypermarket or Carrefour Market supermarket, to customers over 21 years of age. Each household gets a maximum of one loyalty account number, linked to four physical cards, with one larger card being for the subscriber, and three smaller cards being for other members of the household.

Once the customer has collected their MyCLUB loyalty card, they must register the card on the loyalty click here or in-store by completing a Carrefour MyCLUB registration form. The registration is validated within 24 hours, and points cannot be earned until the card is registered and validated.

Shoppers earn points based on the value of qualifying spend in-store and, upon reaching 500 points, they automatically receive an AED50 voucher to redeem against their next purchase. In addition to redeemable vouchers, members will also receive various loyalty card offers. Currently, cardholders cannot earn points when purchasing gift cards, pharmacy, extended warranty, Nol, Salik, Etisalta and Du in Carrefour stores.

"We successfully trialled the MyCLUB loyalty card with customers at our Carrefour Market Al Fardan, Carrefour Hypermarket Century Mall, and Mirdif City Centre branches at the end of 2011, and the feedback we received was very positive," said Changeux. "We are proud to now roll out this initiative to all of our customers throughout the UAE."

The Majid Al Futtaim Group first introduced the Carrefour retail model to the Middle East in 1995, and there are now 17 Carrefour Hypermarkets and 19 Carrefour Supermarkets in the region.