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Stimulus Check Lust–Make a Date with Your Grocer

June 4, 2008

Everybody is slobbering over your IRS stimulus check. Home Depot, Sears, and every freaking car dealer on the planet wants to make you deal. The scammers are out in force. Bloggers have been running contests to see how you are planning on spending your check. The winner of one such contest received a $50 restaurant gift certificate for planning to laser off his back hair and 2nd place went to some poor lad who bought a dishwasher only to find a leak that forced him tear his kitchen apart. He won a $20 gift certificate. Most people, we hear, aren’t going to stimulate the economy so much as fill their gas tank a couple times, stimulating the corporations who are actually causing a large part of the problem. How’s that for irony?

Here’s a good idea: hook up with your grocer. Kroger and Food Lion have identical, brilliant promotions–buy a gift card from their grocery with your stimulus check and they’ll tack on another 10% in value. Kroger’s promotion runs through July; Food Lion through August 16.

I love this for consumers:

  1. It’s a terrific incentive NOT to spend the stimulus on something frivolous. It’s what people need–food–especially in tough economic times. If you shop at Kroger, you can purchase gas in many of their locations…and the gas will be discounted a few cents.
  2. It won’t stomp on your cynicism. Coupons are distributed hoping you won’t use them; calculations are built-in based on percentage of people who won’t redeem them. Those yellow tags sell food more cheaply, but my nagging feeling is that they are emPLOYing algorithms to make even more money on the overall store’s profitability. Consumer beware.
  3. $60 on a $600 card is tangible money. It’s perception, I know, but consumers will know they are saving dollars at a time, not pennies.

I like this promotion for the grocers, too. They’ve locked in your business and locked out their competitors for a month or so.

Consequential Value Score: 12

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