уровня TOEFL по английскому языку. № 35.
Прочтите следующий текст о схемах
использования карт лояльности и выберите лучший ответ
a, b или c на вопросы с 1 по 7.
the following text about loyalty card schemes
and choose the best answer a, b, or c to questions
1 to 7.
If you ask supermarkets and department stores
they will probably tell you that loyalty card
programmes are designed to help them 'reward
valuable customers with better prices.' This
sounds fine, but is the phrase 'valuable customers'
really an industry code meaning 'shoppers
who spend the most money'? Are the cards merely
designed to identify and reward the wealthiest
The argument is this: advertising and in-store
promotion convinces shoppers that the cards
are there to save them large amounts of money,
but the stores see the cards as data collection
devices designed to help them monitor who
buys what. This information is then used strategically
to raise prices and increase profits. Here's
how it works:
Each time you scan a card, every item you
purchase is recorded into a computer file
linked with data from your card application.
Eventually, based on many shopping trips over
a period of time, a picture begins to emerge
of your shopping habits and household characteristics.
This is then linked to broader 'market segments'
based on age, race, income level, family size
and neighbourhood. The real goal is to determine
how profitable each market segment is to the
store, and to treat customers in those segments
Though we all have to eat, supermarkets have
been scrambling to cater
to the wealthiest shoppers ever
since researchers discovered that 75% of a
store's profits come from the top 30% of its
customers. Cards help the supermarket identify
those big spenders and keep the stores well
stocked with the products they like to buy.
The result is that items preferred by 'top'
customers begin appearing in greater numbers
on the store shelves, while low-cost items
get squeezed off the shelf.
The loyalty marketing experts who sell card
programmes to the supermarkets encourage this
phenomenon. In fact, they have even suggested
that supermarkets use card data to identify
and 'discard' low income customers altogether.
Card information is also used to set prices,
with big spenders setting the standard for
what everyone else must pay. An item that
once sold for £1 may be raised to £1.49
if card data shows that the high profit customers
will still buy it at that price. As new technology
allows card programmes to grow more sophisticated,
such customer segmentation will grow deeper.
Those who want to escape from price manipulation
should shop away from these stores until they
get the message.
In which part of a newspaper would you find
a) in the food section / b) in the business section/
c) in the health section /
Loyalty cards help stores to… a) understand their customers
b) offer more discounted products./
c) spend less on advertising and promotional
According to the text, loyalty card schemes
a) all customers./ b) mainly high-income customers.
c) mainly low-income customers./
The verb cater
to is closest in meaning to:
b) attract/ c) provide what is required/
Loyalty marketing experts are encouraging
supermarkets to… a) stock more high-cost
b) value all customers./
c) introduce more special offers./
In the future, technology will enable stores
to… a) know even more about
different market segments./
b) be more efficient./
c) offer better value to customers./
The article recommends that shoppers should…
a) complain about loyalty card schemes to
b) only spend money on low-cost items in
stores./ c) boycott those stores
that operate loyalty card schemes./
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