Use of supermarket coupons soars

Shopping basket`Almost all shoppers now use supermarket coupons, with affluent areas the most likely to cash in at the till, a survey has found.

Employed consumers have increased their use of coupons the most (33%) compared with the unemployed or retired (23%), but just 7% of all shoppers said they never use them, found the poll for Sainsbury's.
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Almost half (46%) said using coupons is now seen as the norm, while 43% said they believe that most people use coupons regardless of their financial situation. Just 4% said using coupons is embarrassing.

Sainsbury's said data from its Brand Match scheme showed that those living in affluent areas of Sussex, Kent, Warwickshire and east Birmingham were the most likely to redeem coupons, while 40% of households with children use a coupon once a week or more compared with 26% of those without children.

The findings follow increasing efforts by supermarkets to target shoppers with money-off deals and personalised coupons handed out at the till and sent by post and email. But industry analysts IGD warned that shoppers will become increasingly confused if the number of food and grocery promotions continues to rise.

IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch said: "Everyone loves a bargain but if we're faced with a blizzard of promotions, then that risks information overload - complicating life for shoppers.

"Our research suggests that shoppers are finding it difficult to cut through the in-store noise. The great majority of people are responding to the financial squeeze by trying to be more disciplined, for example by planning ahead or shopping little and often. In these conditions too many promotions can be a distraction, with 44% of shoppers telling us they find it difficult to compare prices in store.

"Promotions will always be an important part of the grocery landscape but there needs to be a balance."

Sainsbury's group commercial director Mike Coupe said: "It is great to see coupon usage in the UK is now the norm and that people are getting the deals they deserve at the till."

YouGov surveyed 2,066 adults online between October 5-8.
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