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Report: FSI coupon activity increased 8% in 2009

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK Cash-strapped consumers have been turning more to coupons and deals, no matter where those deals are, in the past year. So it’s not surprising that there are more coupons than ever for them to “clip.”

But the actual number of coupons hitting the market last year isn’t the only metric that was up. Average face value of the coupons reached a new record level of $1.42, according to Marx Promotional, an increase of 6.5% compared with 2008. So not only were there more promotions to be had, those promotions delivered greater value than they had in past years.

According to NCH Marketing, a company that measures coupon activity, coupon redemption increased 19% in the first half of 2009, compared with the same period in 2008. And if that trend continued, that suggests retailers should have seen a slight jump in foot-traffic and a corresponding increased opportunity in impulse merchandising. NCH Marketing utilizes Marx Promotional data in its annual report on coupons.

To help mitigate the actual cost of delivering a greater number of FSI promotions at greater value, the amount of time a coupon was active decreased 3.9% to an average 9.3 weeks.

“These trends indicate that manufacturers are delivering more offers of greater value to the consumer, but are managing their financial exposure by reducing the length of time that these offers are available in the market,” Marx Promotional wrote.

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Teel rejoins Raley’s as CEO

BY Allison Cerra

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. Raley’s board of directors Wednesday announced that Michael Teel, grandson of the regional supermarket founder, Tom Raley, will lead the chain as CEO.

“He knows the market; he knows the company,” said the co-chairman, Jim Teel. “The board and the family welcome Michael back with our full, 100% support.”

Michael led the company from 1996 to 2002, and returned with the message that he is focused on the family’s goal of keeping the company privately held and staying true to Raley’s core values.

“This is a special company. We are unique in how our employees offer service to our customers. I value that strength, and see it as essential to who we are,” Michael Teel said. “As a leader, my role is to foster this unique quality and allow it to thrive.”

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Fred’s reports monthly sales

BY Michael Johnsen

MEMPHIS, Tenn. Deep discounter Fred’s on Thursday posted $209.3 million in sales for the five weeks ended Jan. 2, representing a 4% increase as compared with December 2008. Comparable-store sales for the month increased 1.3%, versus flat comparable-store sales in the same period last year.

“We are pleased with Fred’s December sales performance, especially considering the tough consumer environment that persists, as comparable-store sales for the month rebounded,” stated Bruce Efird, Fred’s CEO. “Several key factors contributed to these positive results, including improved customer traffic, continued pharmacy department script growth and better clearance of seasonal inventory.”

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