Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale prices

Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. No non-grocery posts.
Super S
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1907
Joined: April 1st, 2009, 9:27 pm
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 9 times
Status: Offline

Re: Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale pr

Post by Super S »

storewanderer wrote: August 31st, 2020, 9:35 pm

It does seem like the successful chains that are expanding and opening new stores, do not push a loyalty card or if they have one do not require it for sale pricing... but these stagnant grocers and the drug stores push them hard and demand them for sale pricing.
Walmart didn't get to be where they are today by requiring cards. Same with WinCo.

The problem is that customers are actually conditioned to think they actually save money with cards, apps, etc. But in many cases, you can buy items for the same price or less at stores that do not require this.

I have seen a handful of poorly run local stores of all types attempt card/loyalty programs to try to compete with the card retailers, often with poor results because the small retailers do not have the computer infrastructure to support such programs.

I am wondering how Fred Meyer is handling this in locations along the Oregon Coast where (although Walmart is making a few inroads) there isn't much local competition. Given that a lot of business is tourism related, do they keep a "store" card for those from out of town making purchases, or do they take the approach Safeway does and not bend the card rules at all in most cases.

TW-Upstate NY
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 237
Joined: May 11th, 2009, 6:09 pm
Been thanked: 6 times
Status: Offline

Re: Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale pr

Post by TW-Upstate NY »

Super S wrote: September 1st, 2020, 8:00 am The problem is that customers are actually conditioned to think they actually save money with cards, apps, etc. But in many cases, you can buy items for the same price or less at stores that do not require this.
Exactly! Somehow, someway those "discounts" and the like have to be paid for. And pardon my french, but I just hate all of the BS associated with the entire concept of a card. You go to a store and if you forget the thing, it's usually either give them your phone # or they scan your license. I buy nothing nefarious by any means but I just really don't like whatever random consumer goods company or marketing research outfit knowing everything I happen to buy.

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 5902
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 17 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale pr

Post by storewanderer »

Super S wrote: September 1st, 2020, 8:00 am
I am wondering how Fred Meyer is handling this in locations along the Oregon Coast where (although Walmart is making a few inroads) there isn't much local competition. Given that a lot of business is tourism related, do they keep a "store" card for those from out of town making purchases, or do they take the approach Safeway does and not bend the card rules at all in most cases.
If it is anything like Smiths there are plentiful store cards. Often stacks of cards sitting on top of self checkouts. The other night at Smiths I put an item in wrong on self checkout and the employee who helped me fix it noticed I hadn't scanned a card yet, and had a photocopied UPC in her pocket that she scanned for me for the discounts to apply before I could get to putting my own card in. Small transaction so I don't really card one way or the other. The receipt printed and no fuel points, etc. printed out on the receipt so that is the "store use card."

Safeway specifically in Sparks, NV has started to hand out cards to people who don't have a card and tell them to "call the number on the back of the card to register." There are no paper card applications and haven't been any for quite some time, at least six months to a year. Not sure if this is specific to this store or more widespread. Using self checkout now that they offer it in so many stores, I haven't observed many transactions. I do suspect a lot of customers go through self checkouts and just pay full price without asking questions.

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 5902
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 17 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale pr

Post by storewanderer »

I shopped at Smiths. On this visit I immediately started scanning items and did not scan the loyalty card until the end of the transaction. As I was using the self checkout a few sale items which were marked as "with card" on the shelf, as I scanned, were discounting down to the sale price without the loyalty card with a discount line appearing immediately after scanning the item that said "SC 2-TIER PRICE." Other items I purchased did not discount until after I scanned the loyalty card. I wonder what is going on here. Maybe it is a programming error. Odd Smiths would go to only requiring loyalty card for some sale prices right as Fred Meyer is starting to require the card for all sale prices (or is it a hybrid model there too?). I find it somewhat screwy that the card is required for some sale prices but not all; not sure what the point of that is. Osco/Sav-On used to do this too where there was a regular price, a "non card sale price" then finally a card price.

TW-Upstate NY
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 237
Joined: May 11th, 2009, 6:09 pm
Been thanked: 6 times
Status: Offline

Re: Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale pr

Post by TW-Upstate NY »

storewanderer wrote: September 12th, 2020, 10:12 am I find it somewhat screwy that the card is required for some sale prices but not all; not sure what the point of that is.
And again, shoppers are getting sick and tired of this-NO MORE GAMES! And here we have an example of a company going in totally the opposite direction. I wish these companies no ill will but I do wish they would see the error of their ways so to speak. Hey, here's an idea-EVERYBODY pays the same price! I know in some corporate circles that's considered radical and "out of the box" thinking nowadays and if I worked in retail I'd probably lose my job over it but they ought to try it sometimes.

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 5902
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 17 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale pr

Post by storewanderer »

Outside of the grocery business, drug store business, and pet store business, what retail sectors require a loyalty card for sale pricing?

And there are still large regional chains in the grocery business with no loyalty card based sale pricing (Hy Vee, Publix, WinCo, Save Mart, Stater, some Albertsons banners, etc.). I would guess less than half of the total grocery stores in the US require a loyalty card for sale pricing.

Where it is starting to get a bit murky is "digital offers" even at these stores with no loyalty card based sale pricing. As manufacturers have moved away from paper manufacturer coupons those coupons get delivered in a digital format and to enable delivery of those paperless coupons the loyalty card has been the chosen avenue to do so, forcing chains that did not run with loyalty cards to implement them.

Back to the topic of Kroger I find most of their "digital offers" are store coupons. Historically most of their digital offers were "manufacturer coupons." So now Kroger plays games. They increase the everyday price or do not run as low of a sale price as previously, however if you use one of the digital offers you will get the old everyday price or the previous sale price. For instance, one I saw recently, instead of selling the box of Kroger Baking Soda for a low everyday price like .69 which they used to do, they change the everyday price to .85. Forget the generic baking soda is .48 or .58 at Wal Mart and WinCo. Then they do a digital offer on the baking soda save 15 cents on Kroger Baking Soda, which in turn gets their price down to where it used to be in the first place. Another example is Kroger Syrup; same thing; used to have everyday price of 1.79. Then price goes to 1.99 and a digital offer for 15 cents off Kroger Syrup shows up. These are still far lower prices than Safeway for these items, but they are still higher than Wal Mart and WinCo even after the digital hassle.

Sears/Kmart toyed with the idea on a very limited number of items having a member only price (95% of their sale items, everyone got the sale price). Stores like GNC, Harbor Freight Tools, Bed Bath and Beyond, Barnes and Noble, etc. have loyalty programs that are fee-based and give you discounts for having their fee based/subscription based loyalty card. I think Harbor Freight does specific item pricing with its fee based loyalty card but I think the others are more of a "save 20% on all items every day" type thing.

Super S
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1907
Joined: April 1st, 2009, 9:27 pm
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 9 times
Status: Offline

Re: Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale pr

Post by Super S »

storewanderer wrote: September 13th, 2020, 11:11 am Outside of the grocery business, drug store business, and pet store business, what retail sectors require a loyalty card for sale pricing?

And there are still large regional chains in the grocery business with no loyalty card based sale pricing (Hy Vee, Publix, WinCo, Save Mart, Stater, some Albertsons banners, etc.). I would guess less than half of the total grocery stores in the US require a loyalty card for sale pricing.

Where it is starting to get a bit murky is "digital offers" even at these stores with no loyalty card based sale pricing. As manufacturers have moved away from paper manufacturer coupons those coupons get delivered in a digital format and to enable delivery of those paperless coupons the loyalty card has been the chosen avenue to do so, forcing chains that did not run with loyalty cards to implement them.

Back to the topic of Kroger I find most of their "digital offers" are store coupons. Historically most of their digital offers were "manufacturer coupons." So now Kroger plays games. They increase the everyday price or do not run as low of a sale price as previously, however if you use one of the digital offers you will get the old everyday price or the previous sale price. For instance, one I saw recently, instead of selling the box of Kroger Baking Soda for a low everyday price like .69 which they used to do, they change the everyday price to .85. Forget the generic baking soda is .48 or .58 at Wal Mart and WinCo. Then they do a digital offer on the baking soda save 15 cents on Kroger Baking Soda, which in turn gets their price down to where it used to be in the first place. Another example is Kroger Syrup; same thing; used to have everyday price of 1.79. Then price goes to 1.99 and a digital offer for 15 cents off Kroger Syrup shows up. These are still far lower prices than Safeway for these items, but they are still higher than Wal Mart and WinCo even after the digital hassle.

Sears/Kmart toyed with the idea on a very limited number of items having a member only price (95% of their sale items, everyone got the sale price). Stores like GNC, Harbor Freight Tools, Bed Bath and Beyond, Barnes and Noble, etc. have loyalty programs that are fee-based and give you discounts for having their fee based/subscription based loyalty card. I think Harbor Freight does specific item pricing with its fee based loyalty card but I think the others are more of a "save 20% on all items every day" type thing.
Some of the cards offer a discount on all store brand items. I have received this (via a "store" card) a few times at Rite Aid. I am not sure how Kroger does this though.

Looking past the cards, the shelf prices tend to almost always be higher than at non-card retailers. Even outside the grocery industry.

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 5902
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 17 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale pr

Post by storewanderer »

At the end of the Kroger Receipt Survey recently some questions are coming up asking opinions about their digital offers, digital coupons, etc.

Nothing explicitly asks if you like the loyalty card in general or it being tied to price but it does explicitly ask about your satisfaction with their e-coupons, etc. I really let them know what I thought of all these hoops. And that was in a week when I only had about 250 "digital offers." This week I have 600 "digital offers" which it took me nearly 20 minutes to scroll through, add, etc. (and max you can add is 150 offers). If I do a survey this week, no telling how negative I may be.

The survey may only give these questions on receipts that had redemptions of e-coupons.

It is not unusual for them to ask questions like this. Sometimes in the past they have asked about satisfaction of the fuel points program and cleanliness of the facility where you redeemed fuel points. I always gave that high marks.

babs
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 264
Joined: December 20th, 2016, 3:08 pm
Been thanked: 5 times
Status: Offline

Re: Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale pr

Post by babs »

An interesting observation. Chase is replacing all their Fred Meyer locations with freestanding locations. They are refocusing on private banking and that's hard to do in a grocery store. Not sure if this is only in the Portland market. Curious to see what goes in these vacant Chase spaces. I'm guessing they may find a credit union. The other option is a medical clinic.

jamcool
Diamond Member
Diamond Member
Posts: 426
Joined: March 5th, 2009, 10:27 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Fred Meyer "Spokane Test" - eliminate dedicated electronics, reduce GM, expand liquor/food, require card for sale pr

Post by jamcool »

That is happening with a lot of the bank “chains” ....they want you to bank online and use ATMs. Yet the credit unions like to have in-store branches.
And Kroger has its own financial unit.

Post Reply