Using Candy to Fuel Delivery
Call it sweet success.
For the 36 years that Craig Kueltzo has owned Lombard Health Mart in Lombard, Illinois, the pharmacy has offered free prescription delivery to customers, many of whom are elderly and would have difficulty getting to the store. With 30 to 40 deliveries each day, delivery is an important part of Lombard’s business.
A few years ago, as gas prices continued to climb, Craig wondered whether Lombard would be able to continue delivering for free, or if he would have to impose a charge to offset his increased delivery costs.
Then, when driving by a nearby candy outlet store, he had an idea: Lombard could purchase candy bars from this outlet (for as little as $0.13 each), and offer them to customers in exchange for a $1 donation. These donations would be used to offset the costs of gas and maintenance, allowing Lombard to continue to make thousands of free deliveries each year.
To test the idea, Craig bought 50 candy bars and put a collection bucket and a sign in front of his register, explaining that donations of $1 would enable Lombard to continue making free deliveries. The result: those 50 candy bars were gone in the very first weekend. Now, two years later, Craig buys 1,000 candy bars at a time and goes through about 400 per month. Lombard’s staff all know about the candy bars, and they make sure that customers are aware.
Some people feel so strongly that they donate without even taking a candy bar. Also, during the Christmas season Craig has found $20 bills and checks for $50 in the bucket. Many customers who receive free delivery also donate. (They do this with a very different attitude than if they were required to pay.)
While Craig’s initial intent was merely to help cover gas costs, what has resulted is much more. This simple activity has become a way that Lombard and its customers help give back to the community. It has generated press coverage for Lombard, built trust with customers, increased Lombard’s status, and strengthened Lombard’s reputation as a value-added community resource.
Who knew that candy could be the secret to fueling delivery.