Monday, March 16, 2009

Supermarkets Continue Bailing On Newspapers

The other day I posted McClatchy, The Councilperson & Newspaper Ads.

The short of it: A commenter noted food chains wouldn’t pay to advertise at newspapers’ Net sites when they can draw shoppers to their own Web sites for at lot less cost.

I added an example of a regional chain – Harris Teeter – which has a program with special benefits for customers who let HT send them a weekly email. (see post for HT link)

Along with all the info in the weekly newspaper ad insert it still uses, HT offers special and, IMO, considerable benefits only for customers receiving its weekly email.

I cited the HT email program as an example of supermarket chains starting to do what airlines did beginning in the 90s: wean their customers away from newspaper ads of flights and sales to the same info at their own less costly Web sites.

Most people don’t remember airlines were once among newspaper's major advertisers.

Today I received – unsolicited – an email enticement from a supermarket chain. Here’s part of it, after which I don’t think any comment is necessary.

Dear Lowes Rewards Member,

Thank you for taking the time to open and read this email. We value your time and respect your on-line privacy. Therefore, we would like to request your permission to allow Lowes Foods to communicate with you by email.

Lowes Foods has just launched an online program that will save customers even more money when they stop in our stores. This program has been tested and here are some of the customer comments received.

"I want to provide feedback on the new Lowes Foods program. I went on-line and signed up for the service. I was able to pick and choose from around 70 offers. I selected the offers for the items I normally buy. When I shopped, the offer deducted just as they should. I think this is a great service - especially for folks like me - full of good coupon-clipping intentions - but regularly failing to get the coupons I've clipped to the checkout line. Please pass this on to the right folks. Thank you!" Katie

"I just wanted you to know I LOVE THIS!! I am the worst at keeping up with coupons and this makes it so much easier! I tried this for the first time this week and saved $3.15. Everything worked like a charm." – Angie

The entire Lowes email's here.