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King Soopers

Kroger’s march to kill off double coupons once and for all, came to a standstill a couple of years ago. But no longer. Its Denver-based division, King Soopers, has announced that it will jump aboard the no-doubling bandwagon effective later this month.

The move, which will happen on August 23rd, is “an effort to modernize the company’s coupon policies,” King Soopers spokesperson Kelli McGannon said in a statement.

The rest of the statement follows a familiar script, that other Kroger divisions used when announcing their own coupon policy changes over the past several years: “Only a small percentage of King Soopers shoppers use double coupons.” “Lower prices throughout the entire store are a better benefit to the vast majority of our customers.” “King Soopers has been investing additional resources into its digital coupons and promotions.”

And then there’s this – “This change will please the rapidly growing segment of our customers who prefer to shop and save without the hassle of clipping paper coupons.”

Well, that’s an interesting way to put a positive spin on it.

Arizona-based Fry’s was the last Kroger-owned store to do away with double coupons, back in October 2014. Many shoppers saw it coming, since all but one Kroger division had previously done the same. But Fry’s shoppers were particularly peeved that the change was effective immediately. All other divisions had given couponers a little notice to get used to the idea.

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So King Soopers has at least chosen to announce the move two weeks in advance. But that doesn’t mean many couponers – those who don’t consider paper coupons to be a “hassle”, that is – are happy about it.

“I’ve been a loyal King Soopers customer for over 20 years, but I will be shopping at Walmart now that you are doing away with double coupons,” one shopper wrote on King Soopers’ Facebook page. “I have always preferred King Soopers over Safeway, yet with coupons no longer doubling I anticipate that I will shop more at Safeway to make my money go further,” added another. “Digital coupons are not fantastic when you can only get one of the item, in comparison to however many coupons I can print at home and with coupon inserts.”

Still, King Soopers’ move was, perhaps, inevitable. When double coupons got their start decades ago, it was a heavily promoted perk that brought shoppers streaming into the stores. Nowadays, many shoppers take doubles for granted, or don’t even realize that their stores offer them at all. And with fewer coupons eligible for doubling, and the move toward digital coupons (which don’t double), Kroger is betting that double coupons have run their course, and few will even miss them.

And they may be right, since overall reaction to King Soopers’ move has been somewhat muted, compared to the couponer outrage that erupted in response to Kroger’s earlier efforts to stop doubling coupons. Texas Kroger stores were the first to stop doubling back in 2011. Kroger’s hometown of Cincinnati followed in 2013. And within a year, every Kroger division but Central Tennessee had ended double coupons, all of them explaining that few customers were taking advantage of them, and that digital coupons and lower prices would benefit more shoppers.

Initially, Dillons and Fry’s were the only other Kroger-owned stores that followed suit. Now that King Soopers has joined them, that leaves Central Tennessee Kroger stores, and Kroger’s recent acquisitions Harris Teeter and Roundy’s (which runs Pick ‘n Save and Copps) as the only company-owned stores left that still double coupons. For now.

So double ’em while you still can – before those stores decide to do you a favor, by eliminating that whole double couponing “hassle” for you.

Image source: King Soopers

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