Co-op shoppers around the county have enjoyed an extra £62.5 million in their pockets over the last two decades thanks to a dividend card that’s reached its 20th birthday.
The Lincolnshire Co-op dividend card marked an important step when it launched in 1998 – the same year Google was founded and film Titanic earned 14 Academy Award nominations.
Previously, customers collected stamps as they shopped, which were kept on rolls at the tills.
These stamps could be saved up in a book and then spent on goods in the Society’s outlets.
The card meant customers could instead collect dividend with a simple scan at the tills, and it still has pride of place in wallets, purses and pockets 20 years later.
Dividend collects on a member’s card each time they shop, which can then be spent in store, and at the end of each year member also receives a dividend bonus.
This year Lincolnshire Co-op members are benefitting from £4.1 million of dividend paid back onto their cards, including a share of a £1.9 million bonus today (Saturday December 1).
That is compared to £1.5 million shared with members in 1999, a year after the card was launched, along with a bonus of £250,000 divvied up between them.
And altogether more than £62.5 million has been shared with members since the card launched - that is enough to buy 31 million boxes of Gadsby’s mince pies or 7.7 million bottles of Co-op prosecco.
Lincolnshire Co-op’s Membership Manager Richard Whittaker said: “We’re incredibly proud that our dividend card has reached this 20-year milestone.
“Last year we launched a new key fob and dividend card app, making it easier than ever to collect and spend dividend and giving members three ways to spend their dividend bonus on December 1.
“I’d like to thank all our customers for being part of Lincolnshire Co-op, and I can’t wait to see what the next 20 years have in store.”
The Lincolnshire Co-op dividend card, key fob and dividend card app help members get more in lots of other ways. They act as tickets to fun-packed member only events, such as the Society’s free Christmas food tastings in North Hykeham, Morton near Bourne and Market Rasen.
There is also exclusive offers with local businesses to enjoy, from savings on tea with Santa and tigers at Lincolnshire Wildlife Park in Friskney to panto showings, vouchers for days out and more, all available by signing in on Lincolnshire Co-op’s website.
Each time a member shops with their dividend card, a donation is also made on their behalf to local good causes through the Society’s Community Champions scheme. Almost £545,000 was raised for more than 230 groups in this way last year.
To become a member, pop into a Lincolnshire Co-op store and ask for an application form or visit www.lincolnshire.coop/applynow