High street retailer Marks & Spencer was offered the opportunity to join the Nectar loyalty card scheme, but turned it down in favour of its inhouse scheme.

Nectar launched amid a blaze of publicity last year. Operated by a company called Loyalty Management, Nectar offers cardholders points if they use it at stores operated by Debenhams and Sainsbury’s.

An M&S spokeswoman is quoted by Retail Week as saying: “We have been invited to participate in a number of these loyalty schemes, including Nectar, but we decided that we would have a more tailored proposition if we provided our own loyalty scheme.” M&S is currently running pilot tests for a combined credit and loyalty scheme.