Exclusive Ed Bedington The Co-operative Group has upped the ante in the battle of the loyalty cards with major enhancements to its Dividend card. From Wednesday the society will roll out its 3 and 1 Dividend offer across the entire chain, supported promotionally by what head of marketing development Nigel Walters described as a substantial seven figure sum. The scheme, which gives customers 3% dividend on own label products and 1% on all other brands, replaces the original 5% own brand offer, and Walters said it proved popular in trials. "People want the Dividend offer across all products and the trial in the HTV region saw a 25% increase in people presenting their cards as well as an uplift in sales." The roll out will begin in the south west region, promoted by a TV campaign, and will be across the whole of the business by the end of May. Retail controller Malcolm Hepworth also revealed at the Food and Drink Expo that future changes may be afoot. He said the society was considering introducing a financial reward to the scheme. But he said the first priority was to continue improving business performance: "If we can get profit levels up there, then there may be an opportunity to make being a member of the Co-op a financial reward. We can get back to paying a true Dividend rather than a loyalty one." Also being launched next week is the society's new Co-opdrinks2u.co.uk web site which has just gone live. Walters said: "The site offers a complete off licence range and for a standard delivery charge of £4.99 regardless of the size of order, it is available anywhere in the UK." {{NEWS }}