Finance Consumer Woolworths’ latest promotion leaves a bad taste: $400 containers

Woolworths’ latest promotion leaves a bad taste: $400 containers

Woolworths uber partnership
Woolies has launched its next promotions run – glass containers for its Everyday Rewards shoppers. Photo: Getty
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Woolworths’ latest promotion to reward its loyal shoppers has received little fanfare: It’s a reusable glass containers set, which starts at the equivalent price of $400.

Woolies announced the promo for its Everyday Rewards program on Tuesday, with retail analysts saying it shows the supermarket’s promo team has run out of puff.

Spruiking it as a way for customers to “reduce food waste”, Woolies says shoppers can earn one point for every $20 they spend. Those points can then be used to cash in one of seven containers.

The smallest container starts at 20 points, the largest stands at 40 points.

Food retailing expert Gary Mortimer, from the Queensland University of Technology, said there’d be many consumers who would do the math straight away on just what they’re getting back for what they spend – but the question will be, will they mind?

Some will, Professor Mortimer said.

“There are other consumers that will be saying, ‘Well this is really something for nothing’,” Professor Mortimer told The New Daily.

Woolworths’ loyalty scheme promo: Seven stackable glass containers. Photo: Woolworths

“They’re going to spend $400 at Woolworths in the next few weeks anyway, so if they can get something for free, that’s a bonus for them.”

Not so fast …

This program works differently to Ooshies, or Coles’ Little Shop promotion, where customers redeem points from dockets.

Customers must be signed up to the customer rewards program to get the points, to count towards these containers.

Deakin University marketing professor Michael Callaghan sees this as an admission from Woolworths that its loyalty program is not up to scratch.

“If this is how Woolworths adds ‘value’ to its loyalty scheme, is that an admittance that it isn’t really doing anything for the customers who use it?” Dr Callaghan said.

Coles’ Little Shop push was a winner at first. Then the tide turned, lashing the supermarket for its overuse of plastics.

“Why don’t they just increase the points on their loyalty scheme instead?

“This is an indicator of marketing promotions staff that have run out of creativity and basically have just grabbed the first thing that’s come along nice and cheap and stuck it in as a reward.”

Dr Callaghan said the shelf price of the containers would be anywhere between $4 and $10, but Woolies could easily have used its buying power to pick them up for as little as $1.

A Woolworths spokesperson said: “Christmas, New Years, and Back to School are a busier and more expensive time of year for customers, so our goal with the free glass containers is to give Woolworths customers extra value for the shopping they’re already doing.

“We’re looking to help customers who are trying to make every meal count by extending the life of their meals and reduce food waste at home.”

The spokesperson added the containers will be able to buy outright from customers outside the loyalty program.

Scan your card to hand over your details

Consumers should well be aware by now, Professor Mortimer said, that whenever they sign up to a customer loyalty program, they’re making themselves targets.

“Most consumers understand their purchasing behaviour is being taken and that data is being used to target them in the future, with specialised deals,” Professor Mortimer said.

Meanwhile over at camp Coles, we have been yet to see a new promotion launched to rival Woolies’, which Dr Callaghan said could be interpreted as Coles feeling very secure in its marketshare position.

It’s also likely, he said, Coles is still waiting to see the effects of it ceasing printed catalogue deliveries, moving towards a “seamless” online catalogue and shopping experience.