Like many folks, I've got at least one grocery store card. You know, those things that give you a false sense of saving money when what you're really doing is doling out information that is frankly, none of the store's business? Oh sure, they use the info they gather from you, such as your address so they can find out from what area folks are shopping from so if they decide to build a new store they can find out prime locations.
But that's about it, at least from what I can tell.
I've never received a "recommended for you" sales circular in my mailbox. I get the same ol' generic circular everyone else gets. Oh sure, I get the occasional useless coupon that gets spit out when I make a purchase. When I say "useless," I'm not kidding. I have yet to see a one of these related to my long term purchases. Because if they did, this coupon would not be for a carton of Kents.
Sure, I smoke, but in my entire 20+ years of damaging my lungs at the rate of a pack a day, I've never once purchased Kents. I've had one, I think, when I "bummed" one off of a pal of mine, but I've never gone out of my way for it. Walked a mile for a pack of Camels when I changed my mind about quitting, but not Kents.
So why recommend it to me? Because I happened to purchase a carton of GPC's at that particular time? That's the only thing I can assume, because I usually don't buy smokes at the grocery store, but at a cigarette discounters. If the grocery store kept tabs of what I was buying on a regular basis, it would have known that, and I would have gotten a coupon for something far more useful, like a discount on General Foods Internation Coffee or the like.
Sure, I'd buy it anyway, coupon or no, but if stuff like that started popping up for me at a store? I'd probably only have one grocery store card instead of...well, three. And isn't that what stores want? Customer loyalty?
Well dang it, if you want loyalty...earn it by using the information you already have.