Kroger just announced plans to eliminate double couponing effective May 1, 2014 at all Columbus Division stores. This division includes 123 stores from Columbus to Toledo, Ohio. Though these coupon policy changes DO NOT affect Michigan Kroger stores, the truth is that the double coupon trend is slowly being eliminated chain-wide. Only Kroger stores in the Michigan and Mid-South/Nashville divisions continue to automatically double the face value of coupons. Here are the details you need to know.
This time, Kroger hasn’t yet shared the information in the official Kroger Facebook page. Instead, they quietly issued a press release. Here’s what they have said:
- “Our customers are telling us they want convenience, and they obviously want the best value for their grocery dollar,” claims Kroger spokeswoman Jackie Siekmann. “With only 2 percent of our customers considered ‘heavy paper coupon users,’ we believe that lowering prices and investing digitally will benefit all of our customers.”
- 86 percent of Columbus division customers aren’t using double coupons.
- “Double coupons originated decades ago, in an era when none of the current online and electronic coupon options were available to customers and smartphones did not exist. Kroger will continue to evolve to meet the expectations of 21st century shoppers,” Siekmann added.
- Instead, prices will be lowered on many items beginning April 1 – including produce, natural foods, organics and more.
Kroger Coupon Policy Changes (including an end to double coupons)
Take a look at these changes and you’ll start to see a trend emerging:
- 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 (OH) 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) began accepting coupons at face value only.
- Now in May 2014, Kroger stores in the Columbus (OH) division (which had previously doubled) will begin accepting coupons at face value only (effective May 1).
I’m sure that Kroger corporate will be watching this new program closely – with the potential of implementing it into the 2 remaining divisions. However, Kroger still insists that the decision is up to each division separately.
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.
Don’t be surprised if you hear Michigan stores are next. The coupon policy for stores in Michigan is likely to be up for discussion as Kroger examines various policies. 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 in Michigan Kroger stores.
If you’ve been using coupons for any length of time, you know that coupon policy change is not uncommon. Most of us are still mourning from the similar decision Meijer made chain-wide in September 2013. 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?