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‘Coupon-clipping’ trend gets boost from retailers, manufacturers

The use of manufacturers discount coupons — a staple among stateside consumers who are used to clipping them from their Sunday newspapers and applying them at the store — has been on the rise in Puerto Rico.

In the last month, two major health and home care product manufacturers have joined forces with retailers to distribute a pair of glossy catalogs including hundreds of dollars worth of discount coupons, further fueling their use in Puerto Rico, where consumers have been feeling the pinch of relentless cost of living increases.

While Reckitt Benckiser, a leader in the global household, health and personal care sectors, launched its “Tu Familia Vale Más” (Your Family is worth more) catalog in early September, Procter & Gamble — maker of such popular brands as Ariel, Charmin, Duracell, Olay and Febreze — included its popular “P&G Brandsaver” insert in a major circulation newspaper Sunday. Combined, the two catalogs offer consumers up to $150 in savings at the register.

The use of manufacturers discount coupons — a staple among stateside consumers who are used to clipping them from their Sunday newspapers and applying them at the store — has been on the rise in Puerto Rico, according to the latest edition of the Consumer X-Ray study, commissioned by the Marketing, Industry and Food Distribution Chamber (MIDA) released this summer.

The study showed that the so-called “Baby Boomer” (60 and older) generation led the way in clipping coupons and using them at the register, followed closely behind by “Generation X” (30 to 40 year-olds) and “Generation Y” (20 and younger) consumers. While 19 percent of Baby Boomers use manufacturers coupons, 37 percent of Gen-Y shoppers said their availability determines where they will shop.

“We have seen an increase in the use of discount coupons, especially in our stores, where 70 percent of shoppers redeem them,” said Waleska Miranda, divisional merchandise manager of Walgreens Puerto Rico. “We’ve spent a long time developing this culture.”

More retailers join trend

Reckitt Benckiser's "Tu Familia Vale Más" (Your Family is worth more) catalog.

Coupled with the glossy catalogs of clippable coupons is a wider availability of places to use them. Retailers such as Walgreens — which has been including coupons in their weekly flyers and in-store discount booklets for years — Walmart, K-Mart, Capri, Pueblo, Supermercados Selectos, Mr. Special, Hatillo Kash & Karry and SuperMax, are now accepting them, as well as those printed off the Internet.

“The ‘Tu Familia Vale Más’ discount catalog is an excellent savings tool that greatly eases the pocket of Puerto Rican families, especially in this back-to-school season,” said Federico Maranges, of Reckitt Benckiser, in early October, when the catalog offering some $50 in discounts on the purchase of Reckitt Benckiser products including brands such as Lysol, Woolite, Air Wick, French’s, Cattlemen’s, Delsym and Mucinex was launched.

“Not only are we providing relief to our clients’ pockets, but we are also educating families on how to maintain a good quality of life in and outside the home,” said Maranges. The Reckitt Benckiser coupons are good through the end of this month.

While there are no statistics available for the amount local consumers who use manufacturers discount coupons save, stateside shoppers saved $3.7 billion with coupons in 2010, according to the Annual Topline U.S. CPG Coupon Facts Report for Year-end 2010. In all, some 332 billion coupons were distributed to consumers in the U.S. mainland that year, the study showed.

P&G's Brandsaver catalog features discounts on dozens of popular household products.

This weekend, P&G published its bimonthly coupon catalog, with $100 in savings inside, valid through the end of the month as well.

During a quick trip to Walmart Sunday night, News is my Business was able to confirm that a significant number of the products featured in P&G’s catalog were on sale, giving consumers the chance to apply the discount coupons to the already lower price. In some cases, the shelves were nearly empty.

Other retailers, including Capri and K-mart, used similar strategies to lure coupon-clad consumers to their stores.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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