Target Has a Coupon Problem
There’s no doubt that consumers are watching their pennies.
The new Food Marketing Institute Grocery Shopper Trends report shows
that price is the most important factor for 75 percent of consumers when choosing
a store. Number three on the list is money-saving specials (67 percent). That’s
part of the reason that the latest news about Target is so troubling.
it turns out, has had a coupon problem going back months. Consumers checking
out have only been receiving a portion of the value of coupons and sometimes
no discount is rung up at all.
Kara McGuire, who writes for the Minneapolis
Star Tribune, included this
personal account in a blog on the paper’s website. "One pesky item is
still staring at me from my to-do list: ‘Go to Target and get $5 back.’ Last
week, I bought the five Kraft cheeses needed for my $5 off coupon to work.
Then I went home and scoured the receipt — something I always do. Although
a line for the coupon showed up, I was looking at a big fat zero."
McGuire is not alone as blogs and interviews with consumers prove.
Jaworski, a Target shopper in Illinois, told the Chicago Tribune she
had a coupon for $1.50 off the purchase of two feminine hygiene products, but
that only $1.02 was discounted when she checked out at a her local store.
"It makes me not want to go there," said Ms. Jaworski. "You
really have to watch the registers, and for people who don’t, they don’t know
they’re getting ripped off."
The problem appears to happen primarily with
multiple purchase discounts. Instead of applying the discount across all items,
it puts it against a single product. Since the system will not allow the price
of an item to go below zero, it reduces or eliminates the value altogether.
Svingen, a spokesperson for Target, said cashiers at the chain are instructed
to check all receipts to make sure proper coupon discounts have been given.
are aware of the issue and are diligently working on a fix for that and will
implement it as soon as possible," she told the Trib.
Discussion Questions: From your experience, is Target’s problem a common
one across retail? How should they best respond to the problem?
coupon problems not adding up – Minneapolis Star Tribune
- FMI Grocery Shopper Trends 2010: Consumers Are Savvy and Informed Bargain
Hunters When it Comes to Grocery Shopping – Food Marketing Institute
- Target shortchanging coupon users – Chicago Tribune