it's rare that I find a coupon to use ! most of the time the store, my mailbox , my "coupons printed specially for you" from the talking check out are for stuff I never buy and certainly not tempted to buy 'it' just because I have a coupon.
>>take their info with a grain of salt
multiple pounds of salt per sentence .... most of the 'logic' presented falls into the elementary school playground 'did so, did not' scheme of truths. profitability can be measured in percent or absolute dollars.
for example the candy vs baby stuff example:
if you have a forty foot long aisle of candy, and it produces $25,000 of absolute profit in a year, that's $625 per foot.
if you have a forty foot long aisle of baby widgets, and it produces $75,000 of absolute profit in a year, that's $1875 per foot.
who needs customer data to figure that out? the manager that needs a customer card to figure out that parents with nursing children don't buy as much candy as those with teenagers needs a different vocation.
and the argument that non-card carrying members pay more is a bit on the leaky side. any body been in line when the customer has no card but the check out person sez "No problem I'll use the store card" . . .
there is of course not a single possible argument about 'the programs cost money' -
we get a free turkey, we get ten cents per gallon of gas per hundred dollars of purchases, we get $5 off your next order coupons, etc. since I don't use a lot of gas, I'm sure they're not happy when I pull up and save $0.70/gallon. I'm not the usual case.
at the end of the day, presuming one takes the freebies / utilizes the bennies, the store without a card program has equal cost/profits as the one with the card program with the exception of card program administrative costs. I seriously doubt that amount to a whole lotta money.
which totally shoots down the X is cheaper but Y is more expensive - because products are 'marked up' so they can be discounted. if I pay .20 more for a box of saltines and save .20 on dish washing soap, is there a difference in my annual grocery bill?
if a consumer shops at Market X and their bill(s) are noticeably higher than when they shop at Market Y - regardless of who has what card - the shopping habits will change.
two freebies in the bush don't beat the missing 20 buck bill from my pocket.