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Kroger Wednesday ad

When Sunday rolls around, it must be time for the new weekly circulars from Target and the drug store chains. On Wednesday, grocery stores like Safeway and Albertsons debut their sales ads. But if you shop at Kroger? Your weekly sales might start on Sunday, or Monday, or Wednesday or Thursday, depending on where you live.

Now, Kroger is taking steps to standardize that sales schedule. And change, some shoppers are finding, is not always easy.

By next month, Kroger stores across most of the South will start their weekly sales on Wednesdays. That was already the case in Texas, Louisiana and the Memphis area. The rest of Tennessee and the Louisville area recently changed to Wednesday-starting ads, from Sundays. And beginning on March 5, Kroger stores in Georgia, Eastern Alabama, North and South Carolina, Virginia and most of West Virginia will make the switch from Sunday to Wednesday as well.

“The new schedule will give customers more time to plan their weekend shopping trips,” read a news release announcing the change in Kroger’s Atlanta Division. “Shoppers can also take advantage of weekly discounts before the weekend.” Spokesman Glynn Jenkins told Coupons in the News that “the change is a benefit for customers.”

And perhaps it is – studies have shown that Saturday is the busiest grocery shopping day of the week. Which means that many Kroger shoppers take a look at the ad on Sundays, then wait til the very last day of the sale to head to the store, when some of the best deals may be out of stock. And in the midst of all of this activity, employees are busy trying to reset the store for the next sale, which begins the very next day (read more about the recent history of when grocery ads start, and why).

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But there’s a down side to switching the ad’s start date. Some shoppers have complained that they rely on the weekly circulars that arrive in their Sunday newspapers. “The weekly ad will still be delivered, but just on Wednesdays,” a Kroger spokesperson wrote on the store’s Facebook page. “We apologize for the inconvenience if you do not have the paper on Wednesdays, but you can get a paper version at the store.” Added Jenkins, “We offer many ways for customers to review weekly ads, including Kroger.com, social media, online, in-store, etc.”

“I’m not interested in viewing the ad online,” one shopper complained on Facebook. “And I’m not going to start buying the Wednesday paper either.”

And that could be a problem, for Kroger. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the largest newspaper in the largest Kroger Division that’s moving to Wednesday-starting ads, has a Sunday circulation of 644,287, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. Its weekday circulation, however, is a mere 231,094. That means more than 400,000 potential Kroger customers won’t be getting the weekly ad delivered to their doorstep anymore. And what’s out of sight, may remain out of mind.

But Kroger is betting that the benefits will outweigh those risks. It’s encouraging shoppers to sign up for weekly email reminders to check the ad online. And given that some retailers are looking toward the day when they can phase out printed circulars altogether, Kroger may not be all that concerned that fewer of its printed ads will be in circulation.

Besides, it doesn’t hurt that starting its weekly ads on Wednesdays gives Kroger a one-day jump on the (mostly) Thursday-starting Publix, one of its main grocery competitors in the South. Publix, though, has learned to have it both ways – putting its circulars in the Thursday AND Sunday newspapers, pleasing those who like to plan ahead, and those who want to get all of their store ads in their Sunday paper.

If there’s one thing that’s constant about the recent history of when grocery ads start, though, it’s change. Some stores that once started their circulars mid-week, later switched to weekends – only to change back again several years later. So if you don’t like the day that your grocery store’s circular starts, just wait – it could change before you know it.

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6 Comments

  1. I’m in Texas, my Kroger Ad (and Brookshires) come with the weekly junk mail.
    Junk mail: Pizza Hut, Little Caesar’s and China Buffet coupon ads. You know the ones. I think it’s either Vlassic or Red Plum that prints them. (No newspaper subscription).

    Also the sale ads for all the grocers here start on Wednesday. Always have as long as I’ve lived here. Bonus is that sometimes the sale ad paper shows up a day early-I see that as an advantage when planning my lists.

    There IS one thing though, I seem to recall that years ago I signed up w/ Red Plum for something-or-other. They asked for my address-that MAY be a factor here. But I doubt it.

  2. My problem is that the local Kroger ad isn’t in any of the local newspapers yet. I asked last Tuesday at the local Kroger if their ad was in any of the papers, so I didn’t have to drive over on Wednesday, to get the ad, then drive back again, after I had looked it over and grabbed coupons, etc. to shop. They said the store manager was working on getting the ads in local papers, but it was not in there yet. My store in Wisconsin used to do a Thursday start, but their ad was in the Wednesday coupon mail insert each week.

    • I’ve heard that in several locations in addition to yours, the ad is not in the local paper at all and that they’re “working on” it. Given the way they’re pushing the online ad, I’m not so sure adding the paper circular to more dead-tree newspapers is a big priority for them.

    • Hi Skirnir-hope you are doing well at your new locale.
      Anyway, I rec’d my Kroger ad in the mail yesterday-neatly tucked in with the junk mail. (Junk Mail: Red Plum folded ad w/ various A/C company ads, Schlotskys and Jack in the Box coupons.)

      Some people opt out of these types of mailings-Me? I opted “in”. I went to Red Plum and specifically requested that they send me stuff. I’m not TOTALLY convinced that the opt in is WHY I’m getting this, but I would certainly not wish to opt out.
      So there you are. It is confirmed that the ad distribution is from Red Plum.
      Just thinking….maybe it can’t hurt if you go to their web site and opt in. What’s the worst that can happen? 🙂

      Nice to see you here-Be seeing you at Ann’s site soon.

      • In Wisconsin, we used to get the Red Plum stuff on Wednesdays, but then it stopped coming. I tried to opt in, and it never worked. But may try again here, but in most cases, Red Plum sends to whatever areas they decide and not to those who opt in. It was mixed who received Red Plum Wednesday inserts and who didn’t in the city I was in and it didn’t seem to be based on opt ins.

      • In many areas, RedPlum delivers to people who don’t subscribe to the newspaper, to ensure that everyone gets the ads and inserts one way or another. At least that’s the way it’s supposed to work. There’s an “opt out” that some have more success with than others, but the “opt in” is really only for rare cases, like if you or a previous resident at your address once opted out and you want back in. Otherwise they basically tell you that they already know who you are and where you live, so if they want to send things to you, they will whether you try to opt in or not!

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