Loyalty Card Announcement

Savvy York vendor inspires new purchasing concept for street paper sellers in the North of England.

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We would like to inform you of a small but impactful change that you might experience when buying the magazine. Big Issue North is excited to announce that we will be providing loyalty cards to both new and existing customers!

The concept was inspired by a charismatic and pro-active vendor, who does not wish to be fully identified. First piloted on his pitch outside M&S in York, vendor 116 explains a little more, “At first it was kind of like a small idea to keep my customers coming back to me week after week. It was a bit of a selfish idea at the start, like, but I told Big Issue North about it and they love the idea.”

We absolutely do!

Much like a card in a coffee shop, Big Issue North’s loyalty scheme is specific to the vendor who distributes them. Speaking of his vision for the future of the loyalty card scheme he created, vendor 116 says, “I want the loyalty cards to remain vendor specific so that any new vendors who get badged up, if they do get a sale then they can hand the customer a loyalty card so the chances of the customer coming back to that vendor have probably doubled, at least.”

Speaking about the reaction to his pilot scheme, York M&S vendor 116 reports, “I’ve had mixed reports on the pitch about it. Some customers absolutely love it, a lot of the customers have laughed their balls off at me. Others might think that we’re being a wee bit offensive in trying to give them a free issue, when it’s them who are trying to help us out. At the end of the day, by the time they get the 10th issue, they’ve already bought 9 off me and therefor they’ve helped me make £10.75 over 9 weeks from that one customer. Giving them the one issue is the least that I can do to say thanks for their support. It keeps the customer happy and it keeps the vendors happy. Not only that, but the loyalty cards keep the customer coming back to the same vendor each week. This way you’ll get a conversation with that vendor and the chances are that you’ll also get an update report as to how the vendor is getting on in their journey of being homeless or maybe getting off the streets as a result of selling Big Issue North. It’s worked for me and I hope it will work for other people as well. So hopefully you’ll see these loyalty cards rolled out in the next few weeks so just keep your eye out for them!”

Liam Vendor YorkPlease note:

• The loyalty card scheme is available for vendors should they wish to participate, and is in no way compulsory.

• Credit is given on the loyalty cards providing customers take the magazine, supporting what is printed on the cover, that vendors are ‘Working not begging’. Speaking about his thoughts on why the magazine sometimes isn’t taken, York M&S vendor 116 says “At the end of the day it’s a cracking wee issue, it’s a cracking wee magazine like, and it does work.”

We would love to hear your feedback. Let us know what you think in the comments section below, or on Twitter & facebook.

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Big Issue North during the Coronavirus pandemic

We have taken the difficult decision to tell our vendors that they cannot sell Big Issue North on the streets during the Coronavirus pandemic, for the safety of the public and themselves.

This is a serious emergency for our vendors, and they need your help. There are three things you can do right now to help them get through this impossibly tough period.

  1. Buy our digital issue of this week’s magazine Buy
  2. Donate to our hardship fund, which we’ll use to help vendors in the most urgent need Donate
  3. Buy subscriptions and back issues online Shop Now