No changes to flybuys after Coles spin-off
You'll still be able to earn frequent flyer points on your supermarket shop.
Wesfarmers has confirmed that there will be no changes to its popular flybuys loyalty program after it proceeds with a plan to spin off the Coles supermarket chain as a separate listed company.
Wesfarmers surprised the market with its announcement today of a proposal to create a separate listed company for Coles, which it has owned since 2007. The plan to separate Coles, Coles Express, Liquorland, First Choice Liquor and Vintage Cellars from the parent company raised questions over the future of flybuys and whether it will remain available in Wesfarmers other retail stores, particularly Kmart and Target. (National Australia Bank was previously a shareholder in flybuys but sold its 50% stake to Wesfarmers in 2011.)
However, Wesfarmers said that it would not be withdrawing from the scheme, although majority ownership will be transferred to Coles. "Wesfarmers also proposes to retain a substantial ownership stake in flybuys to support continued access to the loyalty program and continued investment in data analytics," it said in a statement announcing the deals. It will also retain around a 20% ownership stake in Coles.
That's good news for Coles and Kmart shoppers, though it seems unlikely that flybuys points will return to Officeworks, which was removed from the scheme back in 2009. With 8 million members, flybuys is Australia's largest retail customer loyalty scheme.
Customers can redeem flybuys points for points in Virgin's Velocity frequent flyer program, at a rate of 2,000 flybuys points for 870 Velocity points. Rival supermarket Woolworths has a similar deal with Qantas Frequent Flyer.
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