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The Coupon Lady: Kroger will end double coupons

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Smart shoppers who practice responsible couponing in the Augusta area will have a harder time finding deals at one local chain.

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Kroger has announced that all stores in Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama will stop double coupons as of Sept. 21.   FILE/STAFF
FILE/STAFF
Kroger has announced that all stores in Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama will stop double coupons as of Sept. 21.

The Atlanta Kroger Region is dropping its double coupon program.

According to its news release, Kroger is ending double coupons in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina on Sept. 21 as part of a new overall lower-price strategy.

I will be sorry to see Kroger end double coupons. I am very disappointed because Kroger was often featured in many episodes of a television show about extreme couponers. However, not long after the first episode aired, the Houston Kroger store featured in one of the first episodes became the test market for ending double coupons. Shortly after, the entire Texas region ended the practice.

I constantly talk about the rules in order to discourage shoppers from practicing fraud, knowingly or unknowingly, that makes both manufacturers and retailers suffer losses. In retaliation for those losses, manufacturers change coupon strategies, set coupon limitations and reduce coupon amounts for the next coupon cycle. Retailers react to losses by changing coupon policies, setting redemption limits and even refusing to take certain types of coupons.

Part of this reaction is understandable, but the amount of people who abused the system has always been only a small fraction of the group of so-called “extreme” couponers. In 2010, many people became curious about a reality show that featured people who used coupons and sales together to get things free or nearly free at a time most were afraid for their financial future. These new budget-minded individuals went out to buy binders and attended coupon workshops. Not every teacher taught about why you can’t photocopy Internet-printable coupons, why links to 99 percent of free product coupons were fakes and why you should never purchase coupons off eBay.

Starting in 2006, coupon usage among consumers rose steadily for five years, and during that time coupon production matched that growth. In 2012, coupon use began declining as food coupons dramatically decreased, despite more coupons being redeemed and while more non-food coupons were released. That trend has increased in 2013.

We can only wait and see if other chains decide to join Kroger in ending their double coupon programs. Only time will tell.

KROGER’S OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE

ATLANTA (Sept. 5, 2013) — Kroger stores in three areas of the Atlanta Division – Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama – are refreshing the customer experience and introducing the launch of an exciting new price campaign, which will lower prices on over 3,000 products.

Starting Sept. 8, Kroger stores in these areas will lower prices on popular food and household items, including those in grocery, produce, organics, natural foods and general merchandise. National and private label brands are included in the widespread price reduction.

“As Kroger continues to evolve and expand, we are looking for new ways to help our shoppers maximize their savings,” says Glynn Jenkins, director of communications and public relations for Kroger’s Atlanta Division. “Price is an important factor in the shopping experience, and this multi-million dollar investment will allow customers to save even more on the items they buy every week.”

Along with new lower prices, Kroger will continue to offer weekly and everyday sales including discounted pricing for 30- and 90-day generic drug prescriptions and Fuel Reward points.

Kroger will also place a renewed emphasis on valid print and digital coupons that are downloadable at Kroger.com and through the grocer’s mobile app available on iPhone and Android devices. As a result of the new price campaign, the company announced it will discontinue the use of double coupons – which will only be accepted until Sept. 21, 2013.

“While we have chosen to discontinue double couponing, our customers can still reap the benefits of incredible savings with these new lower prices on thousands of everyday products,” says Jenkins

As part of the new campaign, Atlanta Division customers will see a refresh in signage, which will provide a more unified look across stores.

“Customers will see a more cohesive brand while shopping at their local Kroger stores,” says Jenkins. “We are removing unnecessary signage while at the same time lowering prices to give shoppers a better – and more economical – in-store experience.


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