A relaunch of Sainsbury's loyalty scheme is on the cards for early next year. Marketing director Sara Weller said the chain was looking to "strengthen and take forward" the Reward scheme. "It's a critical part of our business. We want to make it as strong as possible." Weller was tightlipped about details, but said there were a "number of options on the table". She rejected recent suggestions from Safeway that Sainsbury and arch rival Tesco would be forced to scale back their schemes because they were too costly. "The quality of information that the scheme provides is so rich that if you can use it properly it's not a resource to be without," she added. Weller said the chain had already taken important steps with the signing up of Scottish Power as a partner and the recent Sainsbury One mobile phone initiative. But she made it clear Sainsbury was now looking to make "a step change in the offer". Any new initiatives would back the Sainsbury quality proposition, Weller added. Sainsbury's US affiliate Shaw's has launched its own loyalty card scheme and Weller said the two businesses were exchanging ideas. One initiative that has caught her eye is the use of "mini cards" that can be attached to keyrings. These allow shoppers to get the benefits without having to carry a piece of plastic around. {{NEWS }}