The Gift That Gives Back
"What did you do with the gift cards?" The manager of the Comfy Coffee Slurp Shop chain asked the new barista, an eager young man who'd clearly been trying hard to please her ever since he'd started work the week before.
"Oh, those?" the new hire made a wry face. "I didn't think they were as tempting an impulse buy as some of our other products and so didn't want them up by the cash register that way. I think our customers would be much more likely to purchase some of our appetizing Gut-Loving Nuts or Blues-Chasing Bonbons. So I switched their places. The gift cards are now over there." He pointed to a corner shelf.
The manager raised an eyebrow. She would have liked to have made a sharp retort, but Jack here was doing his best. Still, he had a lot to learn.
"I would like you to move the gift cards back to where they were by the cash registers," the manager told Jack. "And I'll explain why."
With wide eyes, Jack nodded. "I'll do that right away, Jane. And please do explain why. I'd like to understand what I did wrong."
"It wasn't wrong to think about trying to increase the coffee shop's profits, but trust me, those gift cards are more valuable than you think," explained Jane.
"Well, I guess they could be a way of advertising," Jack said, trying to reason it out as he moved the candies he'd put up by the register out of the way. "People might buy them for colleagues as a gift and then those folks might come to check us out and become regulars."
"That's true," smiled Jane. Jack was getting it. "But that's not the main reason I want them up by the register." She brought over the tiered display of colorful gift cards. "These guys are worth about ten percent more than the value for which we sell them."