Skip to main content

Lids’ new loyalty program hits a home run


With a mere six months under its belt, Lids’ new Access Pass loyalty program is driving customer engagement to new levels.

Tired of running a stagnant loyalty program that only engaged a small amount of shoppers regularly, the sporting goods headwear and apparel retailer was ready to change the game. In April, Lids switched from a static points-based program to a digital model designed to “delight” shoppers.

“In the past, our Lids Club loyalty program enabled shoppers to collect points during each purchase, and that was it,” Jeff Pearson, senior VP of e-commerce and marketing, Lids Sport Group told Chain Store Age. (Lids Sports Group is made up of Lids headwear stores, Lids Locker Room retail chain, Lids Clubhouse retail stores and its online businesses. The company is owned by Genesco Inc.)

“We fell short when it came to communicating with our loyal customers, or even showing them their accrued points and how to redeem them,” he said. “It was time to bring in new offers and contests, and to keep consumers engaged to Lids core brand.”

Using its digital platform upgrade last spring as a jump-off point, Lids began designing Access Pass — an electronic loyalty program that engages all shoppers, and delivers a new level of rewards. To be sure to engage its entire customer base, Lids launched two membership options.

Access Pass Premium, which requires a $5 annual fee, rewards members with 10 points for every dollar spent. Once 1,000 points are accrued, members receive a $10 reward toward their next purchase — a reward that is redeemable at any of Lids’ more than 1,300 retail locations across North America, or online.

Premium members are also eligible for sneak peeks on new exclusive Lids merchandise, special gifts on birthdays, early access to special sales in-store and online, 20% off on all headwear and embroidery, and 10% off apparel and novelties.

A free version of Access Pass is also available. It rewards members with five points for every dollar spent, and features limited incen-tives, including special gifts on birthdays, and early notifications on special offers.

The retailer is augmenting its loyalty program with a dedicated app that enables users to track points, reward thresholds and earned rewards.

Keeping simplicity top of mind, Lids only requires Access Pass members to share their email address either online or in-store during checkout to earn points. They can also sign in at store-level by scanning their app at point-of-sale.

Since launching in April, Lids has enrolled approximately 1.7 million subscribers in both programs. Almost 70% of members — just over 1.1 million — are enrolled in the Access Pass Premium program.

Meanwhile, the Access Pass app is approaching 150,000 app downloads. While the app does not support mobile commerce, Pearson is increasingly bullish on the value it is driving related to personal engagement among members.

“Besides helping members track their loyalty, the app is a vehicle we use to engage them socially, especially when communicating exclusive offers,” Pearson reported.

For example, the app supported a promotion that rewarded Access Pass members that purchased over $50 between July 1 and July 9, with a $10 reward to be used in August. The promotion had 30,000 shoppers qualify for the reward, and 8% redeemed the incentive in August.

“This was something we couldn't communicate before we had the app or new loyalty program,” he said. “We now know which customers took advantage of the offer, and also learned that 60% customers used the reward in-store and 40% redeemed the offer online.”

Pleased with early results, Pearson expects to double Access Pass’ enrollment within three months.

“By the end of our fiscal year, January 31, 2018, we will be 10 months into the new loyalty program, and this goal would put us well ahead of numbers that we had annually for our previous Lids Club program,” Pearson explained.

“Customers are already responding well to the new program and it is outperforming our previous model,” he added. “We need to continue listening to our customers and engage them to find out what they want in future. That is how we will continue to evolve the program into something that is useful and desired by customers.”

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds