Retailers more promotional over first half of 2013 in year-ago comparisons

Walmart FSI promotions up by 40%

MINNEAPOLIS — Retailer promotion activity continued to grow with a 21.6% increase to more than 11.3 billion pages in the first half of 2013, with Walmart leading in retailer activity followed by Walgreens, Target and Family Dollar, reported Marx, a Kantar Media solution.

Seven of the top 20 retailers more than doubled their pages circulated in the first half of 2013. Walmart increased its pages circulated by 40.3% to 3.6 billion pages.  Family Dollar had the largest actual decline in pages circulated among the top ten, down 37.1% in the first half of 2013.   

“FSIs, which reach an average of more than 70 million households on a specific Sunday, remain a significant advertising vehicle for both manufacturers and retailers to influence consumer behavior,” stated David Hamric, general manager Marx. Free standing insert coupon activity increased 3.3% based on coupons dropped during the first six months of 2013 versus the same time period a year ago.

During the first half of 2013, more than $247 billion in consumer incentives were delivered via FSI coupons in Sunday newspapers, up 8.8% from the same period in 2012.  During the same six month period, more than 153 billion coupons were distributed within more than 112 billion FSI pages.

FSI coupon average face value increased 5.3% to $1.61 for the first half of 2013. Average expiration (fuse) dropped to 7.1 weeks, down 5% versus a year ago, which is the fifth consecutive year of declining fuse lengths during the first half of the year. “Manufacturers are reducing their financial risk by shortening the overall expiration lengths of coupons but are incentivizing consumers with higher face values and issuing more coupons within the marketplace," Hamric said. 

In the first half of 2013, non-food categories distributed more than 96.1 billion coupons, up 4.7% versus the same time period in 2012, while food categories distributed 57.2 billion coupons,  an increase of 1.4%.

Additionally, manufacturers are increasing the value of the offers being delivered to consumers in the non-food segment. Weighted average face value for non-food increased 7.3% to $1.98 and was combined with a 2.4 point increase in multiple purchase requirements. 

The top 10 product types based on coupons dropped accounted for 36.1% of all FSI coupon activity during the first half of 2013. Shaving cream/razor ranked first with a 45.5% increase in coupons dropped to more than 7.3 billion. Combination/personal products (a group of products which have extensions that cross multiple personal care categories) dropped to second, having a decline of 3.2% and distributing more than 7.3 billion coupons. 

Hair care moved from a rank of 8 to a rank of 3 during the first half of 2013, having distributed more than 6.5 billion coupons. Meat/refrigerated moved into the top 10, having gained three spots from a rank of 12 to 9 with a 33.4% increase to 4.1 billion coupons.

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