1992: AIR MILES Takes Flight
It all began with three young entrepreneurs in a Toronto hotel room in the spring of 1991.
Sharing one phone line and a single computer, Craig Underwood, Sam Duboc and Rob Gierkink pooled their talents to promote a unique business venture – a new kind of marketing program that would reward consumers' loyalty by giving them opportunities to travel.
Instead of being sponsored by an airline or a single retailer, this new program would bring together a coalition of retail partners, all issuing a common loyalty currency. Participating retailers would benefit from sharing the program costs, plus they’d have a rich new source of data on customers' buying habits.
Officially launched on March 30, 1992, the AIR MILES Reward Program is now the most recognized loyalty program in Canada, with more than 10 million active Collector accounts, representing approximately two-thirds of all Canadian households.