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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Revolt of the middle classes

Competition between supermarkets can get pretty fierce but every now and again a promotion designed to get customers through the door backfires. According to this site Waitrose may have scored a bit of an own goal by adopting a free coffee loyalty card.

They say that is facing a middle-class revolt from shoppers who claim that its free coffee and tea are attracting the wrong type of customers:

The high-end supermarket currently offers a free cup of coffee or tea for customers holding a myWaitrose loyalty card - even if they don't make a purchase.

Angry shoppers used Facebook and Twitter to vent their frustration, arguing that handing out free drinks is turning Waitrose into a soup kitchen and the stores are packed with less affluent customers, which is putting some customers off.

One Facebook user wrote on the supermarket's page: "Please stop the free coffee at Barry Waitrose, it is putting me off shopping in the store people are coming with two cards two free coffee no shopping, with their Tesco bags.

"I think seeing people walking round the store holding on to takeaway cups of tea and coffee looks quite ridiculous and brings down the image of Waitrose until it is just like everywhere else – in which case I might as well shop anywhere else."

Another angry shopper said: "Bit disconcerting seeing people carrying cups of hot coffee around Waitrose whilst they text and push trolleys with their bellies."

It is enough to make me want to find a Waitrose store and demand my free drink.
Don't try Waitrose in Lewes then, the machine's not working. Also, there is no check at the machine itself. You are supposed to go to a cash till and register the coffee you want (which put me off on Christmas Eve - half an hour at least to get to a till), but then you just go to the machine and get your coffee. There is nothing to stop people walking in and getting a coffee without the card. Not really a thought through policy.
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