Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Case of the Disappearing Coupons

The number of coupons redeemed annually in the US has declined dramatically -- from seven billion in 1992 to only 2.6 billion last year.

The reasons are multiple -- changing demographics and changing media usage leading the way:
Latinos, especially immigrants, are less likely to use them because coupons are not known in Central or South America, Tilley said.

And younger shoppers, already less likely to read newspapers in print form (if at all) are also less likely to go through inserts in the Sunday paper with scissors to clip coupons, he said.

The article details some of the ways manufacturers and retailers are responding -- mostly by handing out coupons in the store. I don't know how typical I am of shoppers, but I never use those coupons I'm handed at the check-out counter for my next visit (I sometimes intend to, but I always forget).

Interesting factoid in the article -- something I never knew:
The first coupon was created by drugstore owner Asa Candler, who in 1894 had just purchased the formula for a new beverage called Coca-Cola. He gave out tickets good for a free drink at his soda fountains.

A year later, Post Cereal issued a coupon good for 1 cent off of a box of Grape-Nuts. And the rest was discount history.

No comments: