On Saturday, we ran errands, which included stopping off at a local nursery. On our list were a few veggies that didn’t germinate for us indoors under lights, and some herbs that either were victims of winter-kill, or are annuals. Their prices are on par with the big box stores, except that they also have six-cells of some things, instead of only single pots, and they have a customer loyalty program. Applied “rewards” from a previous purchase to get a few bucks off, which made the purchase come in easily $10-$15 below what it would have cost at Home Depot or Lowes.
I realized I had forgotten to get oregano. Usually, that comes back in the Spring, but this year it didn’t. Anyway, all I needed was a 4″ pot of it. When the “rewards” from Saturday’s purchase were applied toward it, all I owed was 15 cents, which happened to be the amount of tax. I basically got the plant for free, but they were still responsible for collecting state tax. I’m sure their accounting system to handle it is up to snuff.
They have one of those systems in which if you agree to provide your name and address to be added to their database, you’re automatically in the rewards program. Sure, they can (sort of) track your purchases, but the rewards are worth it, if you shop there. They ring things up as “cell pack, 2 @ $1.79, herb, 3 @ $2.49, perennial, 1 @ $19.99” etc., so there’s no real record of exactly what you purchased, but the customer loyalty rewards accumulate in the database, and they accumulate fast.
On Saturday, while many people were milling around, the owner was outside, ready to write up tickets for those of us who had carts with a bunch of stuff on them, and were ready to check out. Today, he was working one of the registers. It really is interesting chatting with the owner every so often about herbs and veggies, since he grows a pretty good assortment of both at his own house.
One of these days I ought to check out the nursery that’s only about 0.3 miles down the road from us, but for now, I like the rewards program the other nursery has, it’s only a couple of miles farther away, and I’ve been going there for nearly a decade. Old habits can be broken, but only if there is a compelling reason to do so.