Supermarkets switch to clipless coupons

September 25, 2009 8:45:26 PM PDT
The days of clipping coupons from the Sunday circulars may be coming to an end, as many supermarkets are taking their coupon programs high-tech.

"It's taking a little while for customers to get used to it, but people who're computer savvy are picking up on it like that," MaryAnne Crager of Genuardi's explains about that chain's internet coupon program.

Genuardi's shoppers can load virtual coupons right onto their Shopper's Club cards by going onto the supermarket website and clicking on savings offers they're likely to use.

"Safeway has partnered with three different companies that are providers of online coupons: Shortcuts.com, Cellfire, and Proctor and Gamble E-Saver," Crager explains.

The site will generate a list you can use for reference as you shop. The coupons are deducted as soon as the checker swipes your card. But unlike paper coupons, Genuardi's won't double the electronic ones.

Other supermarket chains have coupon programs that work a little differently from Genuardi's.

If you compile your shopping list on Giant's website, a dollar sign icon will appear if a printable coupon is available.

Plymouth Meeting Store Manager Shawn Taylor explains, "When you're finished with the shopping list, it'll print out aisle by aisle, and coupons come right out with it. "

Superfresh has a link to what they call "Red Tag" coupons that go onto your shoppers card. This is similar to the Genuardi's program.

Both Acme and Pathmark link to internet printable coupons provided by SmartSource, while ShopRite links to printable coupons from Coupons.com.

You can access these coupon sources without going through a Supermarket site, but the store sites allow you coordinate the coupons with your shopping lists.

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