Supermarket loyalty?

It strikes me odd so many supermarkets have loyalty cards. First of all, nearly every supermarket offers the programs with price-off incentives. In other words, have the card, get a special price. Where’s the loyalty in that? Many people (including those in my immediate family) have cards to all the local supermarkets and take advantage of the special pricing on key merchandise at all of the stores. Again, where’s the loyalty?

I know that some people are afraid to join the programs for fear of “Big Brother” tracking purchase patterns and products. The fact is, most supermarkets do little with the data collected other than, well, collect points. Worst of all, you can’t usually do anything with the point that you’ve collected and often you don’t know how many points are in your piggy bank.

So, here’s a supposed loyalty program that accumulates points; does little with them to build an individualized relationship; gives you (and everyone else who holds the card) discounts on merchandise they want to “sell” but not necessarily what you want to “buy”, and; provides no incentive to shop only at this supermarket.

That doesn’t sound much like “loyalty” to me.

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