Kroger just announced plans to eliminate double couponing effective July 31 at its Central Division stores, which cover 136 stores across 5 states. Most Central Division stores are located in Indiana, Illinois and Eastern Missouri, with one each in Northwest Ohio and Michigan. Though these coupon policy changes DO NOT affect metro Detroit area Kroger stores, they always manage to create a stir among coupon shoppers nearby. Here are the details you need to know.
The Central Division covers the following areas (thanks, Monroe on a Budget)!
- Indiana: major cities are Indianapolis & Fort Wayne
- Illinois: major cities are Peoria, Bloomington and Decatur
- Missouri: 3 stores in Rolla, Troy and Warrenton
- Ohio: 1 store in Defiance
- Michigan: 1 store in Sturgis
The following information was shared on the official Kroger Facebook page:
In an effort to provide all of our customers with the most value for their dollar, we’re implementing a New Lower Prices program. Effective July 11, we’re reducing prices on thousands of everyday items that you and your family rely on. To make this possible, on July 31 we’re discontinuing our practice of doubling (up to 50 cents) manufacturer coupons in the Central region. We will continue to accept manufacturer coupons and other coupons at face value, including digital coupons, e-coupons, Catalina coupons and printable coupons.
We truly believe these changes reflect our efforts in providing the best shopping experience to all of our customers. We hope that you’ll come in and see our new low prices as well as the many other ways to save.
• Downloadable, clip-free coupons daily on www.kroger.com/digitalcoupons
• Weekly sales and special sales events, such as Mega Event and Cart Busters
• Fuel savings program that offers up to $1 off per gallon when you redeem up to 1,000 fuel points at Kroger Fuel Centers
• 10 cents off per gallon at participating Shell stations
• Loyal customer mailings containing customized coupons
• $4/$10 generic drug pricing (see pharmacy for details)
• Faster checkouts
Apparently, coupon shoppers are in the minority. Only 7 percent of Kroger shoppers are actually taking advantage of the double manufacturer coupon bonus. Others are using digital discounts. When Kroger tracked grocery purchases, they found most shoppers looking for discounts on produce, natural foods, organics and general merchandise. Kroger plans to lower prices specifically in those categories.
Kroger Coupon Policy Changes (including an end to double coupons)
- Many Kroger locations (including stores in the Michigan division) currently double coupons with a face value of $0.50 or less. This means that when a $0.50 coupon is scanned for any shopper with a Kroger shopper’s card, the coupon will deduct $0.50 twice. A $0.50 coupon at Kroger is normally worth $1.00 – and that’s a nice savings. There are still select Kroger locations in Howell, Saginaw County and Genessee County that will double coupons with a value of $1.00 or less.
- In April 2011, Kroger stores in the Houston (TX) division (which had previously doubled) began accepting coupons at face value only.
- In March 2013, Kroger stores in the Cincinnati/Dayton division (which had previously doubled) began accepting coupons at face value only.
- In August 2013, Kroger stores in the Central division (which had previously doubled) will begin accepting coupons only at face value (effective July 31).
- Kroger corporate will be watching the success of this new program closely – with the potential of implementing it into other divisions as well.
What do these Kroger Coupon Policy Changes mean for Michigan Division shoppers?
For most of us, it means nothing. YET.
Kroger stores in the Michigan division have not announced any changes to their coupon policy. (If you’re in Michigan near the Indiana border, you may be affected by the Central division change).
However, the coupon policy for stores in Michigan is likely to face revision in coming months as Kroger examines the success of various policies, including double coupons. If the face value (“no doubles”) coupon policy proves to be successful along with lowered prices in these nearby regions, there is a possibility it will encourage changes to trickle down into Michigan Kroger stores.
If you’ve been using coupons for any length of time, you know that coupon policy change is not uncommon. Though it seems depressing, the economy (and questionable shows like TLC’s Extreme Couponing) has forced stores to rethink market strategies.
*I will continue to update this post with any additional details or clarifications.*
There may come a day when no stores in any Michigan grocery chain will double coupons. And if (or when) it does, will it change the way you shop? Or will you still be trying to save money?