It’s been rumored for a while, but this time it’s true: Dillons grocery stores will stop doubling coupons on August 21, 2013.
Coupons, including Internet printable coupons, will still be accepted at face value after August 21. They just won’t double.
According to a press release issued today, the decision to stop doubling coupons is a result of a new pricing campaign. Beginning August 7, Dillons says it will lower prices on thousands of items, including those in grocery, produce, organics, natural foods and general merchandise.
According to the company, the lower-price campaign is a multi-million dollar investment – triple the annual amount it spends to provide double coupons. The release cites specific examples of some of the price changes:
- Tide Liquid Laundry Detergent (48-64 use) is now $11.99, saving $3 from the previous price.
- Freschetta Pizza is now $5.49, saving $2.06 from the previous price.
- Pedigree Dog Food is now $12.99, saving $5.36 from the previous price.
Dillons spokesperson Sheila Lowrie said that after studying coupon use, they found that 85% of their customers currently do not redeem double coupons. She also asserted that “extreme couponers” were not the reason for the change in Dillons’ coupon policy. “By lowering thousands of prices on everyday products, we will provide more value for all customers,” Lowrie said.
Some things at Dillons won’t be changing, like fuel rewards, $4 and $10 prescriptions at the pharmacy, weekly specials, and Mega events. Dillons also says it will be expanding its digital coupons on its website and mobile app. (Customers select digital coupons and load them onto their Plus cards, then the deduction is automatically taken at the register. Digital coupons are convenient, but unlike paper coupons, they have never been doubled.)
The responses to this news at the Dillons Facebook page have been mixed, with some saying they preferred the digital coupons anyway and others expressing deep disappointment at the decision.
I myself have mixed feelings. Earlier this week, Dillons held a blogger event to which I was invited. They treated us to coffees and gave us gift cards and took some time to explain the new pricing and the decision to stop doubling coupons. I mentioned that shopping at Dillons was a luxury, and one of the representatives was quick to point out that they want to move toward being the store I can shop at all the time.
I can see it from both sides. If the majority of Dillons customers don’t even take advantage of double coupons, then the company needs to invest in lowering prices overall in order to stay competitive. On the other hand, having the option to double coupons was nice. I guess I still have that option until August 21. And if the company does significantly lower prices, there’s always the possibility that I won’t miss the doubling; I do love the idea of just loading coupons to my card and being done with it.