December 22nd 1972

“Went to Southampton to buy Xmas Presents for Mum + Dad” / “Bort smart trousers in E.leigh” / “Got cassette with Green Stamps”

Entrepreneur Richard Tompkins was the person responsible for bringing the concept of “Green Shield Stamps” to the UK in 1958. So, they are as old as me!

He’d seen the idea in action whilst holidaying in Chicago earlier in the 1950’s and decided it was ripe for the UK market.

The idea was a simple piece of promotion. Retailers and chainstores – Tesco was an early adopter – bought the stamps from Tompkins then gave them away as bonuses to their customers based on the amount they spent.

The customers then stuck and saved the stamps in a special book which could then be traded in for “free gifts” from…. a Green Shield Stamp shop.

Part of me can remember Mum & Dad getting Green Shield stamps when they bought petrol from the local garage and I think Dad used to get stamps whenever he purchased paraffin for the tilly lamp he used to heat his little shed in the winter time.

I can vaguely recall the Green Shield Stamp shop in Southampton. It later became an “Argos”, one in a chain of discount catalogue stores, which just happened to be Tompkins follow-up business idea!

I wonder how many stamps I traded for a blank C-90 cassette?

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1 Comment

Filed under 1972 Diary Entries

One response to “December 22nd 1972

  1. Eleanor

    I bought a wireless-g usb adapter while in Edinburgh last year at Argos. An unusual shopping experience, which I only ever experienced growing up at Service Merchandise. Argos was doing much better business that day than Service Merchandise stores seemed to do in the 90s before it reached bankruptcy.

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