On May 1st, Kroger’s Columbus marketing division, which operates in the Great Lakes and surrounding areas, will discontinue double coupons.
Kroger is not alone in this departure from double coupons. Safeway banners and numerous others have all but stopped double coupons. This move is largely due to the struggle to maintain market share in the face of ever increasing competition. While competition was once just Walmart, those days are long gone. For the past few years, traditional full service supermarket chains have changed their footprint and price points to compete with smaller version grocery alternatives such as Family Dollar, Dollar General, Aldi, Dollar Tree, and more. Add in some of the greatest increases in food costs for 2014, and you’ve got a boiling pot for trouble.
In lieu of double coupons, Kroger has stated that they will lower prices on over 2,000 products. We saw this in other marketing divisions where Kroger discontinued double coupons.
We expect that the remaining stores that double coupons may soon follow suit. Some may occasionally bring back double coupons for special promotions. Of those that remain, Harris Teeter, recently acquired by Kroger, intends to continue their double coupons. Giant Eagle, which covers part of this Kroger Columbus marketing division still doubles coupons. There are also a few others across the US.
While The Grocery Game offers money saving lists and deals for most all of the aforementioned alternative markets, I’m still also a fan of the traditional supermarket. I shop alternative markets occasionally for particular specialty items, but I still love my Vons, a Safeway store (no double coupons). When compared to the alternatives, my love for the traditional supermarkets is not just for the great service, well stocked shelves, good variety and overall pleasant shopping experience, but also for the deals. Grocery Game comparison shopping shows that sales often dip lower at the traditional supermarkets than at club stores and smaller alternatives. With the additional printable coupons, digital coupons, and “mix and match” manufacturers’ incentives, much of the double coupons savings are still there. You just have to know how and where to find them.