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California Shopping Preferences and American Politics

 
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 12:23 am    Post subject: California Shopping Preferences and American Politics Reply with quote

Here's an interesting thing that my daughter just picked up at a seminar with the chairman of the California GOP. The GOP buys Ralph's (a large California grocery chain; the West Coast affiliate of the giant Kroger) database of shoppers preferences. This is the database they build each time you swipe your shoppers' card to get some nominal discount. And it has your address and phone number.

The GOP (and — I'm a realist — no doubt the Dems too) has a paradigm of what shoppers' preferences indicate about their receptivity to the GOP message. Hot dogs and beer tell them they own you. Fiji bottled water and Kashi Go-Lean tell them don't bother. But everything else is on some sliding scale of what it will take for them to get your vote. They know where you live in California and they know how many phone calls and how many direct visits it will take for them to convert you. And they're targeting their efforts based on it as well as other info they're buying from various other retailers and lenders.

Meanwhile, we're probably getting $10 annually in actual savings because the stores are just bumping prices one week so they can "cut" them the following week to keep customers swiping and enriching that database. Shocked
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happenstance



Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 32
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

and i am sure it is not just california. mrgggg. yet another reason to buy straight from your farmers.
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Sharing her home with Rimsky the cat, Cody the partner, and 9 happy hens.

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Raven



Joined: 07 Apr 2006
Posts: 46
Location: Vermont, USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I shop at three supermarkets, two of which have "rewards" cards. Just now I went to the websites of both and read their privacy policies. Both pledge to use personal information internally only, and not to make it available to outside organizations.

Every supermarket chain has a website, so I recommend this measure to anyone with concerns about this issue.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point, Raven! I'm going to go to Ralph's site and see what their privacy policy is. OTOH, this is the company that locked their striking employees out before Christmas a couple years ago. Recently, they had to pay major fines to the Federal government because they were secretly hiring some employees back under aliases to evade labor laws during that long and painful strike with the intent of breaking their employees' ability to strike. In the process, they monkeyed with their reporting of Federal tax withholding. Shocked

What I'm saying is I'm not terribly impressed with their integrity whatever their posted policy may say.

Update: A google of "Ralph's grocery" led to the Fred Meyers site and this is their privacy statement:
The Kroger Co. Privacy Policy

The Kroger Co. recognizes that privacy is very important to our customers and we pledge to protect the security and privacy of any personal information customers provide to us. This includes customers' names, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, credit card and checking account information, and any information that can be linked to an individual. Kroger collects and securely stores this personal information.


So, they're saying they won't share it and the chairman of the California GOP is saying he pays for it and he's got it. ::discouraged shrug::

I must say, when my daughter told me what he had said I was less surprised that it could be true than that he had admitted it publicly. Question
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laurie_m



Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They only have your address and telephone number if you give it to them. I make one up.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have for the last several years too. But once upon a time Ralph's had my info. Of course, I haven't done more than a nominal amount of shopping at Ralph's since the strike. And then, of course, I'm on the GOP's "don't bother" list I'm sure.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ummm, is the California grape boycott over yet? Very Happy
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