Waitrose scraps free newspaper for loyalty card customers
Waitrose is scrapping its free newspaper offer to loyalty card customers in a move that risks a repeat of the outrage it faced when it ended free coffee in 2017.
The upmarket supermarket chain, owned by the John Lewis Partnership, has circulated an email to customers who hold a myWaitrose card, informing them that they will no longer receive a free newspaper when they spend £10 or more from February 22.
The email reads: “Nobody shops quite like you – so we’re updating myWaitrose to make it even more personal.
“As part of these changes, the myWaitrose newspaper offer will be ending on 22 February 2022. But we’re replacing it with something new – look our for updates in the coming weeks.
“Thank you for your continued loyalty.”
Waitrose, which has a branch in Swaffham, is promising personalised offers, special members-only prices, and discounts on cooking classes.
In 2017 the supermarket faced a backlash when it introduced new rules forcing myWaitrose customers to buy items first before claiming their free tea or coffee. Stores later closed the machines “for the time being”.
Waitrose added: “Look out for updates in the coming weeks – and in the meantime, keep using your myWaitrose card, because the more you use it, the more personalised we’ll be able to make your offers.”
The move immediately provoked an angry response from customers.
On Twitter, Richard Stitson fumed: “So you’re removing the free newspaper from #mywaitrose later this month. I’ve never taken you up on the free coffee but the free paper is what makes me shop at Waitrose. Looks like I’ll be clocking up more #LidlPlus spend in @LidlGB in future! Bad move. Lost my loyalty.”
And Kien Tan tweeted: “No more free newspaper? This is literally the only reason why my parents go to #Waitrose several times a week (“we need to spend £10!”). And after killing free coffee too. JLP really got a death wish…”