The first nationwide charity loyalty card has attracted 27,000 cardholders since it was launched in April.
Sue Ryder Care's CareCard gives carriers the opportunity to earn a £5 discount for every 10 purchases at the charity's 400 shops. In exchange, they allow their details to be stored on the charity's fundraising database (Third Sector, 26 April).
"Some customers have redeemed as many as nine cards," said Alan Hodges, director of retail at Sue Ryder Care. "The figures prove that this is not a one-time gimmick, but a sustainable and popular way for us to increase sales and therefore funds."
The scheme is used to keep shoppers informed of how their purchases support the charity's hospice and neurological care services, because each card carries information about it.
"We will be using the database to let shoppers know about retail promotions," said Julie Beames, the charity's business and development manager, who launched the CareCard.
"We will also be sharing the information with our fundraising colleagues to explore the possibility of converting shoppers to regular donors."
The card was launched after a pilot in Kent, London and East Sussex in 2004. It is designed to encourage repeat custom and reward loyalty, and also offers incentives to buy quality donated stock from the charity's stores.