Nothing on the shelves

As promised, a counterpart to yesterday’s Top Stories of 2012. Just for fun, here’s a look at some stories you probably missed in 2012. For whatever reason, these just didn’t seem to resonate. Some are worth a look – others, well, maybe there’s a reason no one wanted to read them the first time around.

11. Wealthy Island is Grocery Poor (October 9)
Rich people have to pay more for their groceries! Apparently the rest of us don’t care. There are small towns and isolated areas across the country that have very few choices when it comes to grocery shopping. That’s also the case in Nantucket, Massachusetts, which this article explores. While not everyone there is rich, they’re not exactly impoverished, like some other people who are really being gouged. So while it’s an interesting story about what happens when there’s no grocery competition in an isolated area, perhaps the locale of this particular story just didn’t appeal.

10. Free WiFi! But Is Your Supermarket Spying on You? (December 20)
To be fair, this story was just published a couple of weeks ago, right before Christmas. It didn’t capture many eyeballs right away, since people were probably busy doing other things, though there’s still time for it to build an audience if Googlers find it. It’s an interesting read, though, if you’re into conspiracy theories or privacy issues. Stores that are offering free WiFi aren’t necessarily doing it out of the goodness of their hearts…

9. Vote For Me, Get a Coupon! (October 7)
Maybe this was just too local – people in Trumbull, Connecticut already knew about it, and people elsewhere didn’t much care. A candidate for the state House of Representatives was criticized for handing out coupons for his local business, while campaigning. Was he buying votes? The coupons-for-votes issue cropped up again at Utah State University a month later, but since no one was interested in a state House of Representatives candidate in Connecticut, it was perhaps a wise move not to bother reporting a similar story on student government candidates in Utah.

8. Are Supermarkets Missing Out on the Holiday Shopping Frenzy? (November 27)
Call this a case of a day late, a dollar short – a story about Cyber Monday, that was posted on non-Cyber Tuesday. The story had to do with grocery stores’ efforts to get in on the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping action. Few have done so successfully, and it seems even fewer are interested in reading about it.

7. You Hated Webvan, But Can We Interest You in a Web-Sub? (July 7)
Here begins a trio of some of the very first stories posted on Coupons in the News back in July, ahead of the site’s “official” launch, just so there was something for the first visitors to read. The first visitors may have read them, but apparently few others did. This story traced Publix’s aborted efforts to offer grocery delivery, then curbside service, then finally simply letting you place your deli order online. While it provided an opportunity to make fun of Webvan (if anyone even remembers that anymore), it also failed to consider that companies like Peapod.com and Safeway have successfully offered home-delivered groceries for some time now. So it’s not exactly a business proposition doomed to Webvan-style irrelevance.

6. Greedy Canadian Grocers Hoard Nickels (July 6)
How could you resist a headline like this? Most people managed to. Another early article, this one focused on a fee for plastic grocery bags in Toronto. It was an early take on a story that was later covered in more depth. But it’s worth a quick look if only for the entertaining comments from the city’s mayor.

5. Do You Have a Coupon For That Corned Beef? (July 6)
Another international story, this one involving Ireland’s efforts to get in on the coupon craze. The “corned beef” reference was meant to evoke Ireland, but the only people who appear to have read the article are Googlers who were legitimately looking for corned beef coupons, and were no doubt disappointed by what they found. Sorry.

4. Are You Too Lazy For Back-to-School Shopping? (July 28)
More like, are you too lazy to write a decent article today? A scant survey with not much to offer, was the basis of this scant article with not much to offer. It discussed how more back-to-school shopping was being done online, and how many were choosing not to shop at all. Many chose not to read this at all, either.

3. When Voting and Coupons Collide (November 8)
It would be unfair to leave the few readers of “Vote For Me, Get a Coupon!” hanging, without letting them know that the coupon-bearing candidate ultimately won his race. Even if you’re uninterested in his story, though, there’s a lot worth reading in this article – including the little-known fact that well-meaning efforts to offer coupons and freebies to anyone wearing an “I Voted” sticker is actually completely illegal. Who knew?

2. Talking Turkey and Other Thanksgiving Tidbits (November 21)
There’s a reason there are no coupon inserts on holidays – no one’s thinking much about coupons when there are holidays to celebrate. Apparently no one is reading much about coupons, either. This story, which appeared the day before Thanksgiving, wasn’t enticing enough to drag people away from their families or their turkeys. It’s a good thing the article lumped several Thanksgiving-themed stories into one, otherwise this one article that few people read, could have been four articles that few people read.

1. Customers Prefer Pricey Organic Food, Says Pricey Organic Food Store (September 28)
It’s a little head-scratching why this particular story was the least-read in all of 2012. What’s the lesson here, don’t make fun of Whole Foods? We’ve called out self-serving studies before, including a study on the benefits of plastic grocery bags, funded by a plastic grocery bag recycler, or that recent study about how coupons make you feel good, sponsored by Coupons.com. So a study commissioned by organic food purveyor Whole Foods, finding that more customers prefer organic foods, seemed ripe for a bit of good-natured ridicule. Maybe Whole Foods fans weren’t as amused.

So there you have it, the most- and least-read Coupons in the News stories of 2012. Now wouldn’t it be ironic if no one reads THIS story?

If nothing else, this look back at the least-read stories gives you one more opportunity to read – or once again disregard – these particular articles. But it also helps to better clarify the kind of stories you’re interested in, in 2013. Feel free to comment below, comment on the Coupons in the News Facebook page, or send an email with any thoughts about stories or issues you’d like to see explored in the new year.

And happy 2013!


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