?A loyalty scheme such as Wedge - which I had not heard of - sounds like it could be a good idea. Any scheme that supports small retailers and gets shoppers to move away from supermarkets would be good. But would I sign up? I'm not sure. I think Wedge is more suited to top-end grocery stores and larger stores than smaller ones such as ourselves. If we were able to do it on a trial basis and see if it worked, that would be helpful. The problem is that a card probably only appeals to shoppers in the centre of London. I don't know whether there would be much demand for it where we are, but if lots of shops around us signed up for a scheme it could work."

Let's stick together South east independent retailer

?It's a really good idea and something that we would wholeheartedly support. Small shops such as ours need to stick together and this is a good way to do this while at the same time being able to offer customers something extra. I'm not aware of any loyalty card scheme we could sign up for at the moment but we'd love to give one a try.

We sell quite a lot of hampers at Christmas as well as expensive items such as olive oils and these are the types of products I think people would look for discounts on. I suppose the true success of any scheme is who signs up for it, though.

Grocery shops alone wouldn't be a great pull so we'd need the help of lots of other types of shops to make the card worthwhile for people to buy."

It won't work for us Birmingham independent retailer

?Card schemes work for the big supermarkets because they run them for free and people do weekly shops in their stores, which means they can easily collect lots of points.

In smaller shops such as ours the benefits aren't going to be that good because people don't shop so regularly or spend as much. I don't think loyalty card schemes will work.

The only real way of making your customers loyal is to provide the products they want, a top-quality service, and be friendly, and then they will keep coming back. This is what c-stores can offer that the bigger players can't, not discounts for people who are loyal."