Lexington couponers suspected it was coming, and on Friday, Kroger made it official: No more double coupons.
The Kroger Co. announced it will end the doubling of coupons on Sept. 22 at 98 stores in Kentucky, southern Indiana and southern Illinois, as it has in other markets. This includes its Lexington locations.
"In an effort to modernize the company's coupon policies, Kroger has been investing additional resources into its digital coupons and promotions," Tim McGurk, spokesman for Kroger's Louisville Division, which includes Central Kentucky, said in a news release. "This change will please the rapidly growing segment of our customers who prefer to shop and save without the trouble of clipping paper coupons."
Kroger has been shifting customers to digital coupons, which can be loaded to consumer loyalty cards, and are available at Kroger.com and through Kroger's mobile apps.
While Kroger has traditionally doubled paper coupons of 50 cents or less, electronic coupons do not double. The grocery store chain said that only a small percentage of shoppers use the paper coupons and electronic coupon use is increasing.
Kroger will still accept paper coupons at face value, according to the release.
"Kroger will continue to invest in lower prices," McGurk said. "Double coupons only apply to a small percentage of the items in our stores. Lower prices throughout the entire store are a better benefit to the vast majority of our customers."
Kroger did not say whether it is lowering prices on any items in lieu of doubling coupons.
Four Kroger stores in Bowling Green and Hopkinsville, operated by Kroger's Nashville division, will continue to offer double coupons, according to the release.
The Kroger Co., based in Cincinnati, is the nation's largest traditional grocery retailer. It operates nearly 2,500 grocery stores and had $96.8 billion in total sales in 2012.