Vons Cuts Double Coupon Offer
By George Anderson
Vons is no longer doubling coupons in parts of Orange County and all of San Diego County in California after finding that few of its customers were taking advantage of the offer and that consumers were still flocking to Wal-Mart, Target, Costco and elsewhere even with the promotion in place.
The chain is not the only grocer to see a drop off in coupons. According to CMS in North Carolina, the number of coupons consumers redeemed last year was off three percent from the year before and six percent from 2004.
With one of its traditional promotional tactics no longer working as effectively as in the past, grocers such as Vons are looking for other ways to drive traffic to stores and increase market baskets once shoppers are inside.
Vons’ parent company, Safeway, has turned its focus to its lifestyle concept in an effort to differentiate itself from discounters while increasing bottom line results
David Livingston, principal at DJL Research and a member of the RetailWire BrainTrust, told the San Diego Union-Tribune, that double coupons do not mesh with the more upscale approach of the lifestyle concept and are more for a retailer looking to position itself as a discounter.
Vons can expect to lose some shoppers as it moves away from double coupons, but that is a risk the chain is willing to take.
Ralphs, owned by Kroger, has no plans to discontinue its own double coupon program. Company spokesperson Terry O’Neil said, “Customers continue to tell us that they like double coupons.”
Moderator’s Comment: Is Vons making the right move discontinuing its double coupon program? Has the chain been able to position itself as a lifestyle
solution provider to reduce its dependence on price promotions in general? –
George Anderson – Moderator