CHARLESTON, W.Va.- West Virginia's Kroger stores rolled out a new price campaign during the weekend that will offset the termination of doubling coupons, a spokesman said Wednesday.The Mid-Atlantic Division of Kroger, which includes Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, eastern Ohio and parts of Tennessee and Kentucky, lowered the prices of thousands of items on Sunday in a price campaign that Carl York, spokesman for the region, called "exciting.""We looked at our data at items that customers buy most often and those are the ones we lowered," York said. "We've never done something like this before. This is a big undertaking and investment and we think the timing is right."Kroger has reduced prices in the past in different departments, but this is a bigger commitment, York said.The multimillion-dollar campaign will lower prices in grocery, produce, organics, natural foods and general merchandise.For example, Kroger cut the cost of mangos, avocados and roma tomatoes to 99 cents. A 100-ounce Tide Detergent has been marked down to $11.99, York said.York said the money customers would save while shopping for these cheaper items will make up for the elimination of double coupons.Beginning May 12, Kroger will no longer double the value of coupons.Kroger, one of the world's largest retailers, will still accept manufacturer's coupons.
York said he doesn't see double coupons lasting much longer in any grocery stores. Stores are investing in lower prices, he said."I hope the customer understands we're moving those dollars to a place that's going to benefit more customers. Not everybody clips coupons, but everyone shops in the store," York said. "I think double coupons is something that's going to go away at some point. The industry is moving away from that."York recommended Kroger customers use the company's digital coupons by visiting its website. Even though the coupons can't be doubled in value starting May 12, there are hundreds of coupons available online. Some digital coupons can be used during multiple trips to the store so customers get more value out of one coupon, he said.Kroger runs promotions on its website, too."The hope is, as tablets become more popular and smartphones are used more, that customers will be able to download coupons in-store and use them in the same trip," York said.The Kroger stores in Cincinnati stopped accepting double coupons earlier this year and it has been a positive switch so far, York said.
He said Kroger would continue to offer its fuel program, where customers can save up to $1 off a gallon at Kroger Fuel Centers, the $4 and $10 prescription program and weekly specials.Reach Megan Workman at firstname.lastname@example.org