By Claire Reilly
David Jones is looking to bolster its financial services division, announcing a new partnership with Qantas to bring Qantas Frequent Flyer points to its David Jones American Express card and Storecard programs.
While specific details on how consumers will be able to earn points with these cards are yet to be announced, the company yesterday confirmed that the new initiative will be rolled out in the “second half of calendar 2012” and will be timed to tie in with the launch of the new David Jones American Express Platinum Card.
Speaking about the strategic partnership with American Express and Qantas was David Jones CEO, Paul Zahra.
“We are delighted to welcome Qantas Frequent Flyer as a new partner to our David Jones card rewards program to sit alongside our current American Express Membership Rewards program,” Zahra said.
The news follows an announcement made by the company in March on the future direction of the company and the implementation of a “three point strategy" for David Jones to ensure its continuing viability in a difficult retail climate.
In this announcement, the company acknowledged it was falling victim to “challenging Australian consumer credit markets,” and that its card portfolio had been exposed to “weak discretionary retail spending.
“Since the launch of the David Jones American Express card in September 2008 growth in the Australian consumer credit card market has deteriorated substantially as has the Australian discretionary retail environment,” the company statement read. “Since 2008 the year-on-year growth of the number of the Australian credit cards issued has declined by 48 per cent.”
“The year-on-year growth of Australian average spend per account has dropped by 89 per cent.
“Over the past three and a half years the Company has introduced a number of initiatives to improve the performance of its Financial Services business,” the statement added. “These initiatives however have not been sufficient to overcome the impact of the prolonged downturn in the discretionary retail and consumer credit markets.
"As a result the Company has not achieved the underlying Financial Services growth it had anticipated in 2008 when it entered into its alliance with American Express.”
According to David Jones, yesterday’s announcement of a strategic partnership with Qantas is “one of a number of initiatives the Company is undertaking to improve and grow its Financial Services business by attracting new customers and spend to the David Jones American Express Card programs”.