Monday, June 18, 2007
There's been a whole lot of talk about coupons lately. Customers love them. And we're like most customers because we love them, too. Check out this article on couponing from today's RetailWire.com:
by George Anderson
Forget about the low redemption rates. Forget about the assertion that consumers wind up saving more when they shop at stores that follow an everyday low price (EDLP) strategy.
Forget about all the reasons to eliminate coupons - because consumers won't let you.
Over the years, retailers including Wegmans and Macy's have found there's a price to be paid for those that choose to operate sans coupons.
"Like it or not, consumers are addicted to coupons, and they count on them," Susan M. Jones, vice president of business development and marketing at CMS Inc., told the Baltimore Sun. "You take it away and your competition doesn't, you're going to lose market share. Because a certain percentage of the consumer is looking for them."
Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates, said Macy's learned that it could not take coupons away from consumers who used to shop at chains operated by May Department Stores.
"It was a disaster," he said. "You have tens of millions of people who their whole driver of shopping is coupons. It's not just something you can take away."
While Macy's has said it will increase its use of coupons, it is clear that the trend across retailing is toward less than more of the sales promotional tactic.
According to CMS, there were 11 percent fewer coupons issued in 2006 than in 2005. Consumers redeemed 13 percent fewer coupons over the same period.
Still, no one seems to be suggesting that coupons will be going the way of the dinosaur anytime soon. Bud Miller of the Coupon Information Corp. said, "Coupons are part of an American way of selling products. They're not going anywhere. They'll evolve over time, but consumers demand them."