Whole Foods in Los Gatos: don’t donate outside, donate at the cash register
On Tuesday of this week, I dashed into the Whole Foods in Los Gatos to pick up a couple of items. It was more crowded than usual, apparently due to the Labor Day weekend we’d just finished. The staff was cheerful and moved fast. But when it got time to pay, the requests for donations came one after the other. I’d brought my bag from the trunk of my car and the first question I got was whether I wanted to donate the bag discount or take a few pennies off my bill. Then I was asked if I wanted to donate to a charity. And finally, I was asked if I wanted to “round up” my purchase price and give the rest to a worthy cause.
In short, within about 60 seconds, I was asked to donate three times.
That felt excessive, even though the amounts were small.
As I emerged from the store, I noticed for the first time a large placard, proudly notifying the consumers who shop at Whole Foods that they should ignore anyone asking them for money outside, that this shopping center, Cornerstone, supports a “distraction free” shopping experience.
What hit me, though, was the irony: Whole Foods doesn’t want veterants, Girl Scouts, Teen Challenge, or anyone else volunteering for a worthy cause asking for donations outside of their store.
No, they want you and me to donate inside, instead, through them.
Does that seem right to you?