Card wars as stores feel pinch

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DISCOUNT card wars have broken out on the streets of Wigan.

Two rival firms say they are close to bringing law suits against each other amid claims and counter claims about their practices.

Reece Haslam and Andrew Cornwall-Nash have been promoting their new scheme called T2T VIP which entitles people to special bargains in shops that have signed up.

But they have come under fire from their former boss Tony Chadwick at Local VIP Limited who claims they have breached an agreement by setting up in competition to him.

He also alleges that they have been poaching customers by telling them that Local VIP has gone bust.

But Mr Haslam and Mr Cornwall-Nash vehemently deny the accusations. They say they have never suggested to anyone that Local has gone under, that they never signed any exclusivity agreement and have challenged him to produce the said document.

In a tough market in tough times, both sides acknowledge that it is sad that matters have come to this, especially when local shoppers and businesses can both be winners from such schemes.

But Mr Chadwick said: “These two lads are former employees of ours whom we trained up and they got us custom in Wigan.

“The next thing they are taking our contracts and telling folk that we owe them lots of money. They have told customers that Local VIP has folded and that they can now sign for them.

“But they signed a five-year exclusivity clause with us to prevent this very thing. We are putting all the evidence together and planning to sue them.”

However Mr Haslam said: “This is all nonsense. We have never told anyone that Local VIP has gone out of business. In fact, after speaking to customers, the only person saying this is Mr Chadwick.

“He is turning up at places before we’ve even visited them to warn them off us and tell them that we are putting it about that Local has gone out of business.

“We wouldn’t be appearing in the media if we were up to illegal practices like that. We did work for Local VIP but left.”

The paper contacted several businesses which had come into contact with T2T and Local.

A spokeswoman for Toni and Guy in Wigan said that they had decided to sign up with both schemes.