Green Shield Stamps – did you collect them?
Green Shield Stamps seemed to be everywhere during the sixties and seventies and the UK had never seen anything like it. But what where they?
The Green Shield Stamp scheme was introduced into the UK in 1958 by Richard Tompkins based along the same lines as the successful Sperry & Hutchinson Green Stamps in the US.
Essentially a sales promotion or incentive scheme designed to encourage shopping, Green Shield Stamps were given to shoppers with every purchase. It was widely adopted with most shops, supermarkets and petrol stations signed up to the scheme.
The number of stamps each shopper received depended on how much was spent in the store. The more money you spent, the more stamps you got. The stamps were then stuck into a book and with no easy adhesives like today, the back of each stamp had to be licked. There were 40 stamps to a page and about 32 pages to a book.
When the book was full it could be redeemed at a Green Shield shop for all manner of household goods chosen from their catalogue.
The scheme was administered from a tall newly built building in Edgware, London known as the Green Shield Tower.
Popular while it lasted, the scheme suffered when Tesco eventually stopped using it and cut their prices across the board instead. This simple value for money approach proved so popular with shoppers that other retailers were forced to follow suit and the use of Green Shield Stamps started to decline.
In order to retain business, Richard Tompkins reportedly had a brainwave while holidaying in the Greek city of Argos. He came up with the idea that his Green Shield shops should start to accept cash alongside stamps. Soon the catalogue shops became cash only and were rebranded as Argos from 1973.
Although Green Shield stamps are not in use today, did you enjoy collecting them and sticking them in into their book? What did you buy with them?
Melina - Assistant Editor
Latest posts by Melina - Assistant Editor (see all)
- Introducing Olive and Mabel and their online exploits! - January 21, 2021
- Are you worried that other people are not following Covid rules? - January 21, 2021
- 5 of our best loved children’s TV programmes of the 1960s - January 20, 2021
- Asparagus Noodle Bowl - January 20, 2021
- Evening all! Our choice of top British TV cop shows - January 19, 2021
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!