John Lewis customers are to see the number of free cakes and hot drinks they receive as part of a loyalty scheme reduced in the run-up to Christmas.

Launched last October, the retailer's rewards programme My John Lewis has around one million members, who have been receiving a range of tailored perks, including free tea and cake in John Lewis's restaurants each month, entry into regular prize draws and invites to "exclusive" local events.

The retailer said that its programme is "still evolving", and it will be reducing the number of hot drink and cake vouchers it sends out so that customers can continue to experience high standards of service as its cafes and restaurants get busier as Christmas approaches.

It said that not all members will receive the same rewards, as they are based on a variety of factors including how frequently they shop at John Lewis, how much they spend, and what they buy.

John Lewis said in a statement: "As we approach our busy Christmas period, we will be reducing the number of hot drink and cake vouchers issued to customers as our cafes and restaurants become extremely busy during this time and we want to make sure our customers experience the high standards of service they expect from us.

"All my John Lewis member rewards are continually reviewed and the rewards our members receive in future do depend on a variety of factors."

The retailer said it is "constantly seeking new ways of saying 'thank you' to our members" and it will be introducing new rewards over the coming year.

It added: "These will be launched alongside our hot drink and cake voucher, which will still be a reward which many members will enjoy."

Guy Anker, managing editor at consumer help website said: "There will be many disappointed loyal John Lewis customers. Our users have told us they feel let down that the offer's been changed.

"People are really feeling the pinch and in the run-up to Christmas they are more likely to have popped into the store for a free cuppa and slice of cake."