I don't know what it is today with the "loyalty card" trend. When I go shopping, which is rare beyond necessary bathroom items and food, I always know exactly what I'm looking for. I've usually thought it out in advance, counted the cost of the items against my budget, and I want to get in and out as quickly as possible.
Of course, I expect that whomever is on the opposite side of the counter is going to try to sell me something in addition to my planned purchase. For example, I recently visited a Clinique counter to buy a moisturizer I really like, but I can rarely afford. I selected the moisturizer, made every sign I could that I was ready to cash out, and:
"Are you interested in any eye creams?"
"No, thank you."
"Would you like to try any make-up colors today?"
One question I can take, but two questions when I'm standing there, wallet out and debit card in hand? Seriously?
Or in GNC where I wanted to buy two boxes of probiotics: First, a store employee made a move to open up a second register so I could cash out faster, and, for some reason, she couldn't get the other check-out guy's attention to help her unlock the register. Then, after the other customers had long since left, she finally started to check me out.
"Are you interested in signing up for a loyalty card today?"
"No, thank you."
"Do you know about our loyalty card program?"
"Yes, it has been mentioned to me before."
"I mean, if you sign up, the next time you buy these, it will be X dollars off from that purchase."
I visited seven stores of varying kinds today. Of these, in five stores I was either offered some kind of a customer loyalty card or some kind of a special credit card specifically for that store. Of the remaining two, I already possessed a credit card for the store in one case, and the other does not offer either loyalty cards or credit cards of any kind.
When I select my items and get up to the register, I don't appreciate being detained for an extra two minutes while I am offered all kinds of cards and coupons or while I am being solicited for personal information like my e-mail address, home zip code, or phone number. In an attempt to capture customers and keep them coming back, companies are sending some of their more loyal customers running into the nearest alternative. I return to many of the same stores already without loyalty cards upon which I can rack up points. I go there because they have a product I like, for example, which is really what it is all about. However, I am more than willing to find a similar product I like just about as much--maybe even significantly less--in another store where I know for sure that I can cash out quickly and reliably. If Walgreens is closest to me, I'm going to go to Walgreens. I'm not going to take a detour miles away to a CVS simply because of a point-gathering piece of plastic.
So, for heaven's sake, leave me alone. If you do, I may be inclined to return to your store.