(3/28/14 update: Kroger has now announced that it will discontinue double coupons in the Columbus, Ohio Division as well. Click here for more.)

Well, the double coupon changes at Kroger are coming fast and furious now. Just a day after Kroger’s Atlanta Division announced the impending end of double coupons in Georgia, South Carolina and parts of Alabama, the Mid-South/Louisville, Kentucky region has done the same.

Except this time, the bad news about double coupons wasn’t accompanied by good news about lower prices across the store. The bad news, it turns out, is the only news.

If you’re keeping score, or consulting your map, the Mid-South/Louisville Division was created just this past June, as part of a reorganization of Kroger’s southern divisions. So affected by today’s news that double coupons will end effective September 22nd, are Kroger’s 98 stores in southern Illinois, southern Indiana and most of Kentucky.

“In an effort to modernize the company’s coupon policies, Kroger has been investing additional resources into its digital coupons and promotions,” said Kroger spokesman Tim McGurk. “This change will please the rapidly growing segment of our customers who prefer to shop and save without the trouble of clipping paper coupons.” While Kroger’s Atlanta Division announced that the discontinuation of double coupons there would come as it lowered thousands of prices across the store, the Mid-South/Louisville announcement did not contain any promise about improved prices. “Kroger will continue to invest in lower prices,” was all that McGurk said, without offering any specifics.

For Kroger shoppers in surrounding states who may be confused about whether their stores still double or not, the newly-created Mid-South/Nashville Division is not affected, yet. That area covers central and eastern Tennessee, and also includes the Huntsville, Alabama area and four Kroger stores in Bowling Green and Hopkinsville, Kentucky. So for now, those stores are in the clear.

But it certainly appears that it’s only a matter of time.

Back in June, Kroger President and COO Rodney McMullen emphasized that decisions about coupons and price cuts were “a local decision for each market”, and that the corporate office wasn’t orchestrating the changes (read: “Kroger Confirms: All Doubles May Be Doomed”). But the fact that the Atlanta and Mid-South/Louisville Divisions reached the same decision about double coupons, during the same week, with the same effective date, is the strongest evidence yet that it’s not a mere coincidence that so many Kroger regions are making the change.

At this point, only Kroger stores in the Michigan Division, Mid-South/Nashville Division and Columbus, Ohio Division are still regularly doubling coupons for the foreseeable future, along with Kroger-owned King Soopers and Fry’s.

“Only a small percentage of Kroger shoppers use double coupons and customers are responding favorably to the recent increase in the quantity and value of the digital coupons available,” read Kroger’s Mid-South/Louisville announcement today. “Double coupons only apply to a small percentage of the items in our stores. Lower prices throughout the entire store are a better benefit to the vast majority of our customers.”

Kroger shoppers who have been promised lower prices are keeping a close eye on whether those promised prices materialize. But at least they were promised lower prices at all. For shoppers in southern Illinois, southern Indiana and most of Kentucky, it appears they may have to settle for no more double coupons – and nothing more.


photo by: Fan of Retail

10 Comments

  1. I was told by a cashier today that my local Kroger is changing divisions as of midnight tonight. I don’t remember to which division she said, but I am in Oak Ridge, TN. Our ad is going to start arriving on Wednesdays, as of February 5th, but not sure what other changes are in store. That is what I was asking about, as I can’t imagine a senior who wants to save money still going on Wednesday, if they ad is barely out and they haven’t had to time to even look at it. (Now as a couponer, I feel I need time to look it over, before I shop and typically I have shopped on Wednesdays, but that will probably be changing.)

    • My Kroger’s sale week runs from Wednesday through Tuesday. The ad is available on the Kroger website starting at 11pm Central time on Tuesday evening and the local newspaper usually distributes the ads on Tuesday. Maybe you’ll still be able to shop on Wednesdays. Hope it works out for you.

    • I checked with Kroger, and they said the change in the starting date for the ads was the only change – no shifting of divisions or anything like that. Oak Ridge is still in the Mid-South/Nashville Division. Several Kroger divisions have switched from Sunday to Wednesday-starting ads, so they are just following what others have done. Whether they also follow some of the other changes that others have implemented, they apparently have “no plans” to do so – yet.

  2. Yes, Kroger is trying to say that customers are satisfied with their wonderful digital coupons. Well, I have never been and never will. I am also going to stop shopping at Kroger. Although I live in the Middle TN area, I am livid that they stopped doubling south and north of me. It is a matter of time before they announce it here in the Nashville area. I pay 9.25 and 9.75% tax for food and non food items. I count on coupons being doubled in order to lessen my food bill. I will not just stand by, Kroger…will protest and boycott you till the end. I love Publix, Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, among other stores. They benefit my family, Kroger. You will do nothing to help us if you stop doubling. In turn, I will not honor you!

  3. Patricia Kitts says:

    I have dealt with Kroger since they located to knoxville. Like so many I like to chose which coupons I can use and get more for my money with digital coupons you can’t. I will be one less shopper if Krogers does away with double coupons. If other consumer would hold true to this Krogers and other company would have to stop taking advangate of the consumer.

  4. The article claims that consumers love the higher value digital coupons.

    1. The digital coupons do not tend to be higher value. IE Fiber One sale this past week, I made sure to not have the digital coupon as it was $.50 off 1 bar pack and so was the paper coupon, except the paper coupon would double.

    2. The store itself seems to tell me they can do nothing when the coupon doesn’t come off. This past week I bought two packs of the ivory 3 bar soap $1 each, had a $.50 off 1 newspaper coupon and a supposed $.50 off 1 digital coupon. I did not see where the digital coupon came off on my receipt. I have also had where I had a Ragu coupon where I had two digital coupons at the same time and it used the one that expired later, instead of the soonest expiring coupon.

    I, personally find the digital coupons nice, but also a pain. Paper coupons I have more control over them and I don’t have to print up a long list of what the electronic coupons are, etc. Even if I do print up the list, so I have the details with me, the store can still do nothing for me, if they don’t come off my receipt properly.

    Lastly, if they do get rid of double coupons in the Knoxville area, they will probably loose some of my business, unless they really do lower their prices. Generally I find Walmart pricing cheaper and I can price match from flyers at Walmart. I shop Walmart and Kroger each week, and whichever has the lower price after coupon for the item I want, that is who gets my money. I do like the $5 off 5 items sales, but without double coupons, even that wouldn’t be overly worth it for me.

  5. Pingback: Knoxville Kroger Double Coupons-Clarification and Our New Region

  6. In the article it states that Mid-South/Nashville Division covers all of Tennessee, but Memphis is in the Delta Division which has already ended double coupons.

    I took part in a Kroger survey recently, and one of the questions was whether I believed them when they promised lower prices when they took away double coupons. I answered that I did not believe that it would last long-term. It looks like perhaps a majority of people were skeptical enough that Kroger decided to stop making that promise.

    Ah, well….it was fun while it lasted!

    • Correct as always, Lisa! So tricky to keep track of all these divisions and all the state borders they cross – it’s been fixed.

      When they discontinued double coupons in Texas, it took them two years to get around to also offering lower prices. The Atlanta area did promise lower prices just the other day, so they haven’t given up on that pledge just yet. But very interesting about that survey – at least they’re acknowledging, or trying to determine the extent of, all the skepticism.

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