Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Breaking Buzz: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Issues Another New Discount Store Coupon ($10-off $50 Though); We Told You the Coupons Would 'Be Back'

Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has issued another one of its discount store-coupons.

However, the just-issued (yesterday) store coupon is a $10-off total purchases of $50 or more discount voucher, unlike the typical $5-off purchases of $20 or more and $6-off purchases of $30 or more discount store coupons the grocery chain normally distributes to shoppers.

Additionally, instead of having a multi-week (nearly one month) shelf-life like the $6-off purchases of $30 or more direct-mailed paper coupon that Fresh & Easy distributed on April 28, the new $10-off ($50) store coupon is good only for about one week. The $6-off coupon mentioned above expires on May 25. [See- May 1, 2009: Fresh & Easy Brings Back $6-Off Deep-Discount Store Coupon; Latest Version Good For Nearly One Month; New Promo Strategy Didn't Last Long.]

Fresh & Easy posted the new $10-off total store purchases of $50 or more discount coupon on its Web site yesterday. The store coupon, posted on the grocer's Web site here, expires on May 24.

Perhaps Tesco's Fresh & Easy's senior management read Fresh & Easy Buzz's two recent stories about the grocery chain's once again aggressive distribution of its discount store coupons, along with our past pieces in which we suggested that two key elements of using discount store coupons as promotional vehicles are:

>To increase shopper market basket size -- achieved by making the minimum purchase amount required to redeem the coupon more than $20 or $30 -- and;

>Duration -- that instead of having a nearly one month shelf-life like the April 28 -to- May 24 $6-off Fresh & Easy store coupon does, making the expiration date about three days -to- one week, so that an incentive is created for the shopper to use the coupon within a shorter period of time, which is what grocery retail promotions are designed to do in the main.

The new $10-off purchases of $50 or more store coupon meets both of our criteria: It pegs the minimum customer purchase required to redeem the store coupon at $50 rather than a mere $20 or $30, and the coupon's shelf life is for about one week, rather than for two, three or even nearly four weeks, time periods most typically used by Tesco's Fresh & Easy.

You can read our two recent stories on the topic at the links below:

>May 1, 2009: Fresh & Easy Brings Back $6-Off Deep-Discount Store Coupon; Latest Version Good For Nearly One Month; New Promo Strategy Didn't Last Long

>May 7, 2009: 'They're Back' in Full-Force: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Adds New $6-Off Online Coupon to Just-Recently Direct-Mailed $6-Off Coupon; Tough to 'Terminate'

As you can clearly read in the stories, we even suggested a $10-off purchases of $50 or more value store coupon as one of the recommended options. Both the $10-off ($50) and the $6-off ($30) coupons provide a 20% discount to shoppers if they purchase the minimum amounts -- $50 and $30. But the $10-off ($50) discount store coupon provides Fresh & Easy with an added $20 in total purchases if a shopper desires to use the coupon.

In our stories, particularly the May 7, 2009 piece, we also said that the discount store coupons would be back in force for Fresh & Easy. And they are. Back-to-back in fact.

The new coupon comes on the heels of one of the two $6-off purchases of $30 or more Fresh & Easy store coupons reported on in our May 1 and May 7 stories that's still out there and alive. That coupon doesn't expire until May 25, actually one day after the new $10-off ($50) store coupon expires.

In addition to posting the $10-off store coupon on its Web site yesterday, as well as alerting members of its "Friends of Fresh & Easy" e-mail data base to the offering, the grocery chain promoted the new $10-off store coupon this afternoon on its feed with this "tweet:"

Hello Savings! hello coupons! from Netvibes, directing its Twitter followers to the online coupon on its Web site.

From early February until April 28, Tesco's Fresh & Easy attempted to dramatically reduce the volume of the discount store coupons it distributes, both via its paper fliers direct-mailed to consumers homes and on its Web site, as we discussed in our May 1 and May 7 stories linked above.

During this time period, we are aware of only about three store coupons having been issued by Fresh & Easy. They all were either $5-off ($20) or $6-off ($30) coupons. (See our May 1 and May 7 stories for more details.)

That may still sound like a significant number of the discount coupons for the grocer to issue in a three month period. But compared to the past -- from the time the first batch of Fresh & Easy stores opened in November 2007 until early February 2009, the grocery chain almost always had these discount store coupons circulating, mostly mailing them to residential households every couple weeks (often including two or three in one flier), posting the coupons online, and even handing them out to shoppers in multiples in the stores until the end of 2008. Store coupon mania would be a fair term for the practice.

Tesco Fresh & Easy's senior management members and its company spokespeople even said in early 2009, via the company Web site Blog and on its feed, that the grocer was cutting back and perhaps even eliminating the discount store coupons completely.

As we said in our two early May stories -- the store coupons are back. The plans to dramatically reduce or eliminate distributing the coupons obviously hasn't work.

The 20% store coupon's 20% discount comes out of Tesco Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market's profit margins. This is unlike the case with manufacturers' "cents off" item coupons, which virtually every grocery store excepts but not Fresh & Easy, the discounts of which are paid for by the maker and marketer of the given product.

With manufacturer-issued "cents off" item coupons, grocers send the coupons to a clearing house on a regular basis and are paid back the face value of the coupon (50-cents or $1) plus a three cent or so per coupon handling charge, by the company that issued the coupon.

Expect to see more of the discount store coupons throughout the summer because Tesco's Fresh & Easy needs the sales they bring to its stores, which is why the discount store coupons are back in force.

[Follow Fresh & Easy Buzz around on at]

1 comment:

Fresh & Easy Buzz said...

We thank the reader who pointed out a math eror (which has been corrected) to us in this story.