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Fry's food

Given the way things have been going at Kroger, it’s no big surprise to learn that yet another division has done away with double coupons. What is a big surprise to Fry’s shoppers, though, is finding out with little notice whatsoever.

Arizona-based Fry’s has become the latest Kroger-owned grocery chain to eliminate the practice of doubling coupons, in favor of promised “new lower prices”. Over the past year and a half, all but one Kroger region did the same. But most stores owned by Kroger, and not named Kroger, seemed somewhat safe. Dillons did away with doubles last year, but Fry’s, King Soopers and Harris Teeter stuck with them.

Until now – for Fry’s, that is.

Making matters worse, every division that did away with double coupons gave shoppers several weeks notice before the policy went into effect. Fry’s shoppers had one day, or less – employees began handing out notices to customers who happened to be shopping yesterday. And many who weren’t, are just waking up to the news this morning.

“Fry’s started reducing prices throughout September, and all new low prices will officially be in place starting October 1,” Fry’s said in a statement. “As part of this investment in lower prices for all customers, Fry’s has made the decision to stop its current coupon promotion.”

That “current coupon promotion” was actually much more generous than just doubling coupons. Most of Fry’s 120 locations boosted the value of all cents-off coupons to $1. So even measly 25-cents off coupons would be worth a buck apiece.

But there was a catch. Fry’s always referred to the policy as a “limited time promotion,” even though it had been in place for years. And that “limited time” is up – effective immediately.

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“We continue to leverage our scale as one of the largest retailers to work with suppliers to reduce costs, and in turn pass those savings along to our customers,” Fry’s spokesperson JoEllen Lynn tried to reassure upset shoppers.

And upset they are. Eliminating double coupons has always disappointed coupon fans. But this time, the fact that it was sprung on shoppers without notice, after Fry’s representatives refused to confirm rumors earlier in the week, made it sting much more.

“I can’t believe we received NO notification of the change in coupon policy,” one commenter on Fry’s Facebook page fumed. “After decades of loyalty to Fry’s, I feel slighted. Your loyal customers should have been the FIRST to know.”

Others piled on:

  • “It is sinful to stop doubling coupons without warning.”
  • “I have personally asked within the last week about these changes and you guys lied and denied changes were coming.”
  • “I will be among many that will boycott Fry’s not because you choose to change the coupon policy but of how you don’t value your customers to tell them the truth.”
  • “Why do you feel it’s okay to deceive your loyal customers who were just wanting clarification on the rumors we were hearing?”
  • “Is this how you do business? Lie to your customers and then say ‘Sorry, new policy, our bad’?”

One shopper even expressed concern for the poor Fry’s employees who will have to deal with angry customers who are just finding out the news. “Instead of management being proactive about the new changes, Fry’s is going to totally hang their cashiers out to dry today.”

If you’re keeping score, only one Kroger division, in Central Tennessee, still doubles coupons. And of the other Kroger-owned stores, only King Soopers and Harris Teeter still double as well.

For now.

And if that changes, hopefully double coupon fans will be given more than 24 hours’ notice, that they may want to do their double coupon shopping somewhere else.

Image source: Flickr/Megan

One Comment

  1. Kroger should lower prices and let consumers see the low prices not just the claims here prices have gone up since Kroger stopped doubling coupons go back to doubling coupons Kroger and DO Not STOP

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