Whenever I fill up my car or interact with a human at Sainsbury’s I’m asked if I’m collecting the schools vouchers. In years gone by I used to religiously collect them and vouchers from other supermarkets as well.
Now I see the scheme for what it is – a shameless ploy by a supermarket to drive traffic into stores and get positive publicity for doing so. Schools all over my area have their banners out proudly declaring that they are collecting the vouchers and students are reminded to bring in their vouchers. Some even have leaderboards to encourage parents to spend more.
The sad truth is that parents and carers have to spend an absolute fortune in store to qualify for anything worth having. Of course small schools are automatically at a disadvantage, as are schools where much of the catchment can’t afford to shop in Sainsbury’s and prefer to shop at a cheaper alternative.
If Sainsbury’s were serious about getting the nation fit they would target the money they spend at schools in problem areas, with high levels of inactivity or that have poor diets. I bet Sainsbury’s could even identify these areas from their Nectar card data.
Of course we all know that the vouchers aren’t really about getting children engaged in sport but are a shameless loyalty grab with some free publicity. For that reason I always refuse the school vouchers when offered (and for the same reason my school are NOT collecting the vouchers).
Only by refusing them when you pay for your shopping will Sainsbury’s ever change their approach. How do you feel about the vouchers? Are you prepared to join me in refusing them?