OT: CompUSA Collecting personal information / Is this a trend?

Dan Stovall dbstovall at gmail.com
Tue Feb 1 13:52:22 MST 2005

The whole reason that they have those cards is strictly marketing.  As
other people have mentioned it is a useful tool for stores to do
market research.  The thing is that it would be easy enough for them
to track using a simple inventory system what customers purchasing
trends are and do a good job of lowering costs and prices.  They could
easily track each transaction to see statisitical relationships
between advertising, purchases, product groups, etc.  The problem is
that  doesn't help them target a demographic of the population.  That
is the purpose of the cards.  Now, all that data they collect can be
used to finely hone their marketing for groups of people within the
population.  Without the cards they can't easily tie one transaction
to an individual, or multiple transactions paid with different means
to the same individual.

In fact, it is a safe bet that most of the information they gather
through those cards is not going to be sold.  By doing so they would
be giving away valuable information about their customers to their
competitors.  I doubt that the information they gather is going
anywhere outside of their company, and their partners and

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