(The discussion featured Alex Gourley - CE of Health & Beauty at Boots; Doug Hargrove - Chief Marketing Officer at Torex and Gerry Johnson - Managing Director at Waterstone's).
To me the most interesting point raised was on how to enhance the customer's experience through loyalty benefits such as the Waterstones' card and Boots Advantage card. It was stressed that it is vital that you have all other aspects of a customer's experience in your store covered and that loyalty cards should not look to replace or make up for lack of service elsewhere.
Further to this, cards give vital information to the likes of Waterstones as to how the individual shops; their preferences and buying patterns. Waterstones give recommendations (Amazon stylee) based on this knowledge. N.B. I found it surprising that Boots doesn't use data from the cards in this manner since the Boots Advantage card is so popular. Perhaps this is where they can learn from Waterstones' experience...??