We received this promotional piece in the mail from Banana Republic this weekend. My wife and I are fans of the GAP and its brands (Banana Republic for us, Old Navy for the kids, the GAP for all of us). In fact, we even have a GAP charge card. For those astute readers of retail, you know that having a customer with a store charge card is a huge goal of any retail company. This generally translates into both greater purchasing volume from the card holder and, for those who carry balances, greater profitability.
For us, this is not junk mail. This is a welcomed opportunity to possibly shop at a store we both enjoy and do so with a discount- "30% Savings Inside" it says. So we rescue it from the "recycle" pile and begin to review the material for the details and specifics from one of our favorite San Francisco companies.
Remember I said we received this in the mail this weekend? Let me be more specific- we received this on Saturday, February 27. So imagine our surprise when we opened the piece and were presented with the two (not one but two!) discount cards that (1) expired on February 23 (for those math challenged this was 4 days prior to us receiving this) and (2) offered a discount on all sales between February 18-28 (again, we missed all but 1.5 days of this 11 day window).
If this were from a company that was hoping to acquire us as a customer it would still seem really silly to extend an expired offer but it would not have made me feel so annoyed. This was an offer to us as "Cardmembers", something special... or so they'd want us to believe. Because they could not manage the mailings well there was nothing special about being informed that I have now - in no part due to me - missed out on something that I would have not otherwise known about.
I get that there are different rules of engagement for non-first class mail and that it can, at times, be delayed in no part due to the company doing the mailings. So riddle me this- would the GAP had been better off mailing their "cardmembers" and knowing that it will arrive on time or saving a few dollars while running the risk of a delayed target date? For in my case, am I now not only an annoyed "cardmember" (not their goal) but they also did not get any of my money during the sale. How could they have? They didn't make me aware on time.
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