‘Do you have a Bonus Card? Would you like one?’
A simple question and yet in this instance one fraught with implications that chip at the very fabric of who I am. Data-protection issues? In a hurry issues? No. This is Iceland. What I have is happy to shop in an ‘economy’ supermarket on a short term basis while it’s still part of the recessionista downshifting trend, but still in denial about any longer term loyalty–issues.
Now I’m more than happy to take advantage of Iceland’s cheap branded goods with their easy to add up pricing strategy of everything seemingly rounded to the nearest pound. I get disproportionately excited over its high number of nostalgia brands like Birds Custard Powder and Tunnock’s Teacakes. And on several occasions I’ve bumped into people who I know send their children to independent schools or who work for the BBC eyeing up the Special K. But a loyalty card? Hmmm.
As we all know, loyalty cards mark you out as belonging to a tribe. They make a statement about your lifestyle values, or how you’d like your lifestyle to be perceived. A bit like buying posh jam even though you actually prefer the cheaper one cos it’s less lumpy, or following someone cerebral on Twitter.
Even though it is currently fashionable to mention your Asda online deliveries at drinks parties, or tweet your excitement that Aldi are selling tennis rackets this week, for most of the middle classes it is still a short term adventure, Blitz spirit and all that. Something they assume they can drop as soon as this whole recession thing blows over and they can start booking Ocado daytime slots again (not just those secret deliveries after dark that I’ve noticed creeping in along our street). It’s rather like admiring the clean lines of a classic concrete estate knowing you’ll never actually have to live there.
Am I the only person who never forgets their cotton shoppers when taking a trip to Iceland, and not just for eco reasons? Or who thinks a Bonus Card would sit awkwardly in their wallet next to loyalty cards for Space NK, Village Books and the local non-chain café? Am I the only person still in touch with their inner snob? Would you like a Bonus Card? Well, would you?