Soliciting Grocery Shoppers for Donations
Over the past week, I’ve been asked 11 times by retail clerks if I want to donate money to a charitable cause. This question has been asked by cashiers in grocery stores and in a variety of retail establishments. Yesterday, I decided to use the self check-out at a Stop & Shop grocery store in Connecticut and was approached by three separate sales clerks asking if I wanted to donate money. After I finished bagging my groceries, I went to the manager’s desk and politely told her that most people want to grocery shop in peace, that the grocery store is one place where the expectation is to be a customer, not a source of donations.
We’re solicited at work (by United Way), at schools we attended and at schools our children attend, at charitable events, churches, temples, museums, performing arts centers, sporting events, home (by phone), in the mail and by e-mail, on the radio, in magazines, and by our friends, relatives, and now by grocery stores and retail stores. Is there no place we can go without someone asking for money?
Sales clerks can’t be blamed as they are being told to solicit customers. The order comes from management, more than likely at the corporate level. When I was in a men’s clothing store buying my husband some shirts, I was asked if I wanted to contribute to St. Jude’s Hospital. When I went to the Performing Arts Center, the performers went up and down the aisles asking for funds to finance retirement homes for entertainers. And, when I was in a Publix grocery store in Florida, I was asked to purchase bunny bucks whose proceeds go to various charities. At a Safeway in California earlier this week, I was also solicited and in Whole Foods in West Hartford, Connecticut the cashier also asked me if I wanted to make a donation. Enough already.
There is no dispute that the charitable causes are worthy recipients of our attention and money but there is a time and a place for fundraising and it’s not in the grocery store or other retail establishments but these stores won’t stop soliciting you unless you speak up. Let management know you don’t want to be asked for money when you’re doing your shopping. Or click on one of the links below and let the corporate office know what you think about being solicited for money while grocery shopping.