Consumer Watch: Happy to fork out for stickers

By Susan Edmunds

Kiwis spend millions collecting promotional supermarket cutlery

Victoria Beckett has filled her cupboards with Countdown glasses and cutlery. Photo / Doug Sherring
Victoria Beckett has filled her cupboards with Countdown glasses and cutlery. Photo / Doug Sherring

New Zealanders snapped up almost a million boxes of cutlery in the latest Countdown sticker promotion.

From August 26 until December 1, customers were given a stamp for every $20 spent. When they had 30 stamps, they could receive a 90 per cent discount on a box of Alessi cutlery, ranging from place settings to serving spoons and dessert forks.

Customers spent almost $6 million on groceries collecting stamps for cutlery.

Countdown has previously run similar promotions on glassware and knives.

General manager of marketing Bridget Lamont said more than 900,000 sets of glassware and knives were claimed.

She said the response had been huge. Earlier promotions had offered glasses and knives free, but the small cost of the cutlery sets had not deterred shoppers.

"It was good to see that a small charge didn't dampen people's ardour. It was a price people were still happy to pay and they were borrowing stamps from family and friends to fill their cards."

Lamont said the objective of the promotion was to get as many people into Countdown stores as possible and to encourage them to spend more. "People have been enthusiastically pursuing stickers, sometimes through throwing a couple of extra items in their baskets or going to Countdown rather than somewhere else."

She said the company would consider further promotions in the future but she could not say yet what they would be.

"We've been pleasantly surprised by how customers have responded. In an age of technology, scanning and mobile apps, why would you want to collect stickers? But people want to. It's a tried and true concept that New Zealanders are responding well to."

Albany woman Victoria Beckett said she went out of her way to go to Countdown while the promotion was on. She asked for stickers from people at work and on Facebook and set up a deal with her friends that all of those who brought the stickers to a weekly pub quiz evening would go in the draw to win a drink. "For the cost of one drink, I got about 20 stickers a week."

She claimed 16 cutlery sets in total but only filled two of the cards herself. Beckett bought her own home six months ago and said it was nice to be able to fill it with good quality things. She also has eight sets of Countdown glasses.

"It's nice stuff that you can use. Except everyone will know that they're the Countdown glasses.

"Maybe in 10 years when everyone else had broken theirs and I still have four sets left, no one will remember."

Countdown's rival, New World, also had success with its promotion for Little Shop collectibles. One collection sold for $540 on Trade Me in September.

- Herald on Sunday

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