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Aritzia planning to launch loyalty program – but don't expect 'buy two, get a third free'

The Aritzia store where Meghan Markle shopped according to local media is pictured in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, May 11, 2018.  REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Aritzia reported first quarter results on Thursday. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Aritzia Inc. is planning on launching a loyalty program as it partners with a software firm to enhance customer experience using data, analytics and artificial intelligence.

The Vancouver-based retailer’s chief executive Brian Hill told analysts on a conference call Thursday that the company is considering rolling out a formal loyalty program, although he did not provide a timeline in terms of when it could potentially launch.

“We’re going to up the ante, so to speak, on the loyalty program at some point in time here,” Hill said.

While Aritzia currently offers rewards for its loyal customers, including special events and gifts, a new loyalty program will be used as a digital selling tool for the company. Hill also emphasized that the program would be catered to meet Aritzia’s “everyday luxury” focus.

“Are we going to have a traditional, ‘buy two, get a third one free’ loyalty program? No, that’s not how we do things,” Hill said.

“We’re going to define what that loyalty and what a loyalty program looks like at Aritzia.”

The clothing retailer, which reported its first quarter results on Thursday after stock markets closed, is also partnering with SAP, a German-based software application company, to develop four projects aimed at leveraging client data and increasing personalization for customers over the next several years.

One of the programs involves using enhanced analytics to view and edit client information in real time, which the company says will create a more personalized experience for customers and increase loyalty. Another initiative features launching an app for the company’s 3,000 style advisors that will provide client information and client data, allowing for a more personalized shopping experience. Hill said the programs will allow the company’s staff to better assist customers, providing them with additional data and things such as product recommendations in real time.

“We are confident these tools will continue to set Aritzia apart and keep us on the forefront of providing exceptional client service and an aspirational shopping experience for which we are well know,” Jennifer Wong, Aritzia’s chief operating officer, told analysts.

Aritzia reported its 19th consecutive quarter of comparable sales growth, with its net income increasing 31.5 per cent to $18.5 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to $15.2 million during the same time last year. Net revenues also jumped, from $167 million last year to $196.7 million in 2019, an increase of 17.8 per cent.

The company’s stock was up 6 per cent at $17.40 as of 11:34 p.m. ET.

With files from the Canadian Press

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