I’ve just signed up for a supermarket rewards program.
I hate rewards programs. I joined one in the past, but then I realised I needed 50,000 points to get a $29 blender and it would take me 45 years to accrue that many, by which time I would be 67 years old and could hopefully afford my own blender, not to mention the fact that the points would have expired after the first three years. So I cancelled my registration. I have even come to cherish the two seconds of freedom and wind blowing through my hair as I casually answer “no” when the checkout person asks if I have this or that card.
The reason I have once again decided to sign up to such a condescendingly-titled scheme is not because I love my supermarket, or I want to get a dinner for two at Hog’s Breath in 10 years’ time. It is because the bread I like is cheaper if I present this particular card. That is the SOLE REASON.
Contrary to what your in-house analysts may tell you, Mr Supermarket Marketing Genius, I’m not a particularly loyal customer, I don’t harbour any strongly held Green Vs Red Vs Independent beliefs and I don’t even want your piddly 4c petrol discount. It’s just that I figure that the $1.41 I’m going to save each time I buy my favourite loaf is money I’d rather have in my pocket than yours.
You might ask why I don’t just go to another supermarket to buy said loaves of bread? Simple. I don’t know where anything is at the other ones! And anyway, it’s no cheaper elsewhere. So, you see, it’s a delightful combination of laziness and stinginess which has forced me into this situation.
I know the supermarkets don’t care about my reasons for joining their “rewards program”, or “thinly veiled carrot and stick data gathering program” as I like to call it. As long as I join, that’s all that matters.
I don’t have any real grudges against big chain supermarkets. I love farmers markets and buying meat from the butcher, but I also say ‘good-on-you’ to the original pioneers of the “super” “market” idea who had the foresight and/or capital reserves to start one in the first place. But don’t think for a second, Mr Supermarket Shareholder, that just because I have your shiny little card poking out of my wallet that you own me. You don’t own me. You are not my mother. You don’t need to reward me for spending my money wisely in your nicely laid out shop like a good little girl.
If I can save $1.41 each time I go to your store, Mr Supermarket Owner, why that’s possibly $73.32 a year. Enough to buy two blenders! As long as you keep up your end of the deal and put my bread on special.