Publix Publicly Accepts Competitors’ Coupons
Publix last week formally introduced a new coupon policy that calls for accepting nearby competitor coupons.
The Southern supermarket chain had reportedly been quietly accepting coupons for years but the policy was never officially stated. Decisions on which competitors’ coupons to accept were also apparently left up to each individual store manager or, sometimes, cashiers.
Publix’s formal coupon policy is now posted in stores and online at Publix.com. The list of "nearby competitors" will be listed at each store. The list reportedly excludes Walmart and Target, but does include Whole Foods. Only coupons for prescriptions are accepted from nearby pharmacies.
Among other restrictions:
- Publix will not accept percent-off-items or percent-off-total-order coupons;
- Only coupons for identical merchandise it sells will be accepted;
- Publix reserves the right to limit quantities;
- Manager approval is needed for individual coupons above $5.00;
- For a buy-one-get-one free (BOGO) offer, each item is considered a separate sale;
- Publix will accept a manufacturer’s coupon and either a Publix or a competitor coupon on the same item.
Publix spokesperson Shannon Patten told Naples News that inconsistencies with original policies included rules affecting acceptance limits on manufacturer’s and competitor’s coupons, as well as special offers and other discounts that could be utilized in combination.
Reports noted that the move was also designed as a protection against fake and illegitimate coupon redemptions. The Learning Channels’ hit show, "Extreme Couponing," has revealed the world of coupon bloggers and has perhaps accelerated aggressive couponing by consumers.
Walmart in March similarly spelled out its coupon policy that includes accepting competitors’ coupons under certain restrictions. Most national and regional supermarkets, however, appear to not accept competitors’ coupons and the ones that do, by all indications, haven’t explicitly stated their restrictions.
Melissa Williams, the coupon blogger at womantowomanmagazine.com, told The Gainesville Sun that Publix’s coupon policy in the Florida region is more lenient than most stores. Only Walmart and Sweetbay of Tampa, FL accept competitors’ coupons in Florida according to her research.
Ms. Williams also said a uniform policy will be helpful, "especially to new couponers because when you go from one store to the next and they all do something a little different, it’s confusing."
- Q: What is the Publix coupon policy? – Publix
- New policy at Publix expands use of competitor coupons – Sun Sentinel
- Publix rolls out new coupon policy this week – Naples News
- Coupons all the rage in hard times – The Gainesville Sun
- Publix Rolls Out New Coupon Policy – WCTV
Discussion Questions: Should grocers accept nearby competitors’ coupons? Should the big discount giants, pharmacies or dollar stores be considered supermarkets’ competitors for coupon redemption? What overall restrictions should stores have around accepting competitors’ coupons?