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Toys 'R Us Sweetens Loyalty Program Rewards

Toys 'R Us plans to sweeten the rewards offered by its loyalty program, giving members 10 percent back on their purchases this holiday season.

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The enhanced rewards program, set to be announced Wednesday, is yet another sign that retailers will likely turn to creative promotions this holiday season to attract shoppers.

Target recently announced that customers who use Target's Redcard credit card will get 5 percent off purchasesat its stores and on its Web site.

But unlike Target's program, the Toys 'R Us incentive does not require any credit card approval, and it is free to join.

Members of the Rewards 'R Us loyalty program can start making purchases at Toys 'R Us and Babies 'R Us stores to qualify for this deal on Sunday, Oct. 31 through Christmas Eve. After the Christmas holiday, the toy retailer will email a rewards coupon, which will be valid until Jan. 31, 2011.

Typically, Toys 'R Us customers receive $5 back for every $150 they spend, using their Rewards card during specified three-month periods.

The ramped-up rewards program will be a centerpiece of Toys 'R Us' holiday advertising, according to Greg Ahearn, senior vice president of Marketing and E-commerce at Toys 'R Us. The program also has other benefits, including incentives for diaper and formula purchases, access to special shopping events, and email notification when certain "hot" holiday toys are available.

Creative promotions are one way that retailers will be weaning consumers off of the steep discounts that were taken during the holidays in recent years.

Many recent consumer surveys, including one from the National Retail Federation, have found that sales or price discounts remain a key factor in making holiday purchasing decisions.

Other retailers are focusing their holiday messages on the other services they offer, such as layaway programs.

Sears , which is among the retailers that has a layaway program, also is pointing consumers to an expanded version of its Sears monthly payment plan. This plan offers customers a way to pay for products over time with a fixed monthly payment over 48 months.

Questions? Comments? Email us at consumernation@cnbc.com

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