Retailers show essential workers their appreciation with promotional perks

Discussion
Source: krispykreme.com
Nov 25, 2020
Matthew Stern

Gift giving during the novel coronavirus pandemic could drive the heaviest season for package delivery in history and Krispy Kreme is showing appreciation to the people who will be working to make it happen.

Krispy Kreme is offering a free dozen glazed doughnuts to any mail carrier or package delivery driver on November 30, according to Today. Workers will need only to show their badges to be eligible for the doughnuts. This is not the first free doughnut promotion that Krispy Kreme has run this year; one week in August, for the first time, the chain offered a free doughnut and coffee to educators and school administrators.

Delivery workers and mail carriers have been designated “essential workers” during periods when stay-at-home-orders were implemented to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

While the latter part of the 2010s saw a huge increase in e-commerce during holiday seasons, sometimes strained delivery companies, the unique circumstances of the pandemic are forecast to motivate even more people to shop for gifts online. This unusually heavy seasonal uptick will come on top of a significant increase in consumers  shopping online for groceries and other everyday items.

Amazon.com, for one, is expecting record online shopping and an associated logistics crunch as customers, wary about visiting crowded places, opt to order gifts and have them delivered rather than purchasing in-store, CNBC reports. The e-tail giant has gone as far as to recommend customers pick up orders at contactless pickup points during the season rather than having them delivered to their homes. Holiday e-commerce sales are expected to be up 33 percent from last year, to the tune of a record $189 billion.

Krispy Kreme’s move comes as individuals and institutions continue to look for ways to show appreciation for essential workers. In March, many major retailers rolled out hazard pay and “hero bonuses” for those working in often low-wage positions rendered dangerous by the potential presence of the virus.

Some retailers began discontinuing such benefits by May or June, though, and the New York Times recently reported that essential workers are not receiving the bonuses they once did, even as a new round of lockdowns looms.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think more promotions like Krispy Kreme’s should be aimed at delivery workers, mailer carriers, etc., year round? What about similar promotions and discounts for essential store staff? How should retailers pursue these promotions, and do you think they build goodwill with and loyalty from the public?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"This is a great positive message. Everyone that is working to keep America going during the pandemic deserve an 'atta boy.'"
"Over promotion of recognition programs like this will dilute their impact and come off as a marketing ploy and not as true recognition for doing a great job."
"While I’m sure it is appreciated, I think worker would rather be paid a true living wage, as we discussed recently."

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10 Comments on "Retailers show essential workers their appreciation with promotional perks"


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Mark Ryski
BrainTrust

I think this sends a positive and correct message. Anything that acknowledges and rewards frontline workers – even if the gift is of nominal value like doughnuts – is a good thing in these times. Retailers should worry less about what the general public thinks about how they reward their frontline workers, and instead focus on creating goodwill with their employees.

Richard Hernandez
BrainTrust

This is a great positive message. Everyone that is working to keep America going during the pandemic deserve an “atta boy.” Great to see.

Cathy Hotka
BrainTrust

Thumbs up to Krispy Kreme. While those of us who toil from home are warm and safe, there are countless people out there working to keep our economy moving. They deserve a warm doughnut and more!

Dave Bruno
BrainTrust

Obviously this is an extremely generous gesture by Krispy Kreme that will hopefully buoy the spirits of people performing a very demanding job that is critical to so many. Thank you to Krispy Kreme for doing this, and thank you to all the delivery personnel who help keep us safe.

Ken Lonyai
BrainTrust

These types of gestures are nice to hear about given the toxic political environment leveled over the pandemic strife the country has been experiencing. I would like to see more internally oriented gestures of appreciation such as monetary bonuses for workers. It’s a fantasy, but it would be the perfect year for corporations to step up and forgo profit considerations to give frontline workers meaningful bonuses.

As I pointed out yesterday, in the last eight months of the pandemic, the Walton family members pocketed $63 billion while more than 14,500 Walmart staff need Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) aid. Imagine the immense good they could do if they could squeeze by on only $61 billion and spread $2 billion among their workers.

Ananda Chakravarty
BrainTrust

This is powerful for public relations and building marketing strength, at a relatively low cost (free donuts). Most retailers already put in place similar perks for their own teams (usually in the form of employee discounts on their products). For public consumption, these efforts are great. They also show support for many who don’t receive the accolades they deserve. Most important is the immediate connection to the localities in which they operate. Expect to see smart retailers engaging in more of this.

Patricia Vekich Waldron
Staff

It’s a wonderful way to show appreciation for front-line workers who have been largely overlooked and overworked. While I’m sure it is appreciated, I think worker would rather be paid a true living wage, as we discussed recently.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest

Doesn’t “pursu(ing) … promotions” undercut the very altruism we’d like these efforts to represent?
And without getting too much into the weeds, I think I see a problem already developing: as the circle of candidates for recognition grows, so too will the number of people who feel slighted by not being included among them.

Mel Kleiman
BrainTrust

Over promotion of recognition programs like this will dilute their impact and come off as a marketing ploy and not as true recognition for doing a great job.

RachelRGS
Guest
1 month 17 days ago

I think it’s a lovely gesture. This time of year we rely very heavily on our delivery drivers so anything we can do to keep them motivating and delivering is good!

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"This is a great positive message. Everyone that is working to keep America going during the pandemic deserve an 'atta boy.'"
"Over promotion of recognition programs like this will dilute their impact and come off as a marketing ploy and not as true recognition for doing a great job."
"While I’m sure it is appreciated, I think worker would rather be paid a true living wage, as we discussed recently."

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