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Supermarket price wars are fiercely competitive, with price-savvy consumers shopping around like never before. So it's pretty surprising to see a poster in a shop window urging customers to increase their shopping bills.
Sainsbury's were pretty surprised too when they were alerted to the poster at a branch of the supermarket in Stratford, east London. It was only meant to be seen by staff and kept out of sight of shoppers. But the motivational poster found its way into a very public place. It read:
Let's encourage every customer to spend an additional 50p during each shopping trip between now and the year end.
@mynameischrisd This is clearly a poster meant for staff areas. I'd really like to make sure it gets to where it should be. Ross.
In a statement, Sainsbury's said:
We often use posters to make store targets fun and achievable for our colleagues. They are intended for colleague areas in the store, but this one was mistakenly put on public display.
Not surprisingly, some customers were less than impressed.
Speaking to ITV News Chris Dodd, who found the poster, added:
I was stunned to see the poster in the window of my local store. I can understand why there has been such a backlash against it, the wording is awful.
It's obviously no surprise that supermarkets are trying to encourage more spending, I think the negative reaction to the poster is down to how bluntly Sainsbury's are communicating this message to their staff.
I think the real mistake Sainsbury's have made it to present this to staff as a challenge. As a customer I don't want to feel like I'm being forced or tricked into spending extra by staff who have been challenged to make me do so. Had the poster encouraged better customer service, or more effective promotions I doubt there would have been this kind of reaction.