Thursday, January 21, 2010

Publix changes in the Nashville district

Some changes have been made district-wide and some are ludicrous IMO. I would recommend contacting Publix HERE to complain if you're unhappy with the changes.

First: Competitors are now considered retail outlets within a THREE mile radius. This means each Publix store will have different competitors, but many will no longer consider Food Lion and Whole Foods a competitor since they are few and far between.
IMO: A competitor to Publix is REALLY any store in the Nashville area since most people do not shop at grocery stores that are within three miles of their house. These days, people will drive for a deal, so many stores, no matter how far, five miles? ten miles? will still be a competitor to them.

Second: There is now a limit of the quantity of deals per item that you can buy. Limit: 6 deals. Yes, you read that right. 6 deals per person. This goes for bogo deals and Adv. Buy flyer deals. This is a bit ridiculous IMO. Yes, sure, I may not need 12 bottles of Windex, but to limit my baby food bogo to 12 jars?? 12 jars will feed my son for two days. So now I need to shop every other day just to feed my son for a week? Silly. This also means 6 like-coupon deals per person (like the green advantage buy flyer).

Third: Two coupons per item purchased. One Manufacturer's coupon and one "store" coupon, be it Publix or competitor.

In addition, our favorite store, Maryland Farms, is getting nailed to the wall by the other stores and upper management for the high volume of coupons coming through their store.

This is seriously backwards. Coupons are profit. They are money. Instead of looking at MF and saying, how can we fix this? They should be looking at MF and saying "What are they doing RIGHT?? and how can we duplicate this in other stores". Because those people spending hundreds of dollars in coupons when they shop are spending money, buying products and paying Pubilx' paycheck.

I am pretty irritated, but more so at the fact that Publix can't seem to understand that this store is doing things RIGHT and should be commended, rather than acting as if they are doing things incorrectly.

If you feel as I do, please, please contact corporate and tell them how you feel about these new policies, and how much you love MF store and appreciate the fact that they understand that coupons are money and that they want your business, rather than running your business away, as other stores have been doing.

Email Publix HERE or call them at 800-242-1227


  1. I just want to make sure I understand the 6 deals part. So are they saying you could only have a total of 6 deals with BOGO and coupons combined in a transaction?

  2. No- sorry for the confusion, it's 6 "deals" per item. So if you wanted to buy yoplait yoplus, which is bogo, then you could get 12 containers, or "6 deals". If you wanted to get Sundown vitamins for overage, you could get 12 bottles, and use 6 Publix coupons (or "6 deals").

    Does that make more sense?

  3. Huh. What you feared is true. So are they actually going to sit there and count? Seems like that will make check out take longer and isn't that bad customer service? Also, what's to stop you from buying more in multiple transactions? There's no loyalty card like CVS that tracks what you are buying. You could get your 12 baby food, then go back through with 12 more so I don't really see how that is helping them; just making it more time consuming for all involved.

    If they really implement all these changes, I hope they put up a big sign letting people know about it.
    No sundown for overage today at MF:( I spent more than I had hoped.

  4. Got it. I was a little panicky there for a minute. This still stinks, but isn't as bad as I first thought. Now to contact the corporate office...

  5. It doesn't make a terrible lot of sense at all. I mean, I could store hop and get as many as I want at multiple stores, or, if I am shopping at a store that doesn't know me I could buy some, and go through another line and buy more. There's no tracking it. All it is going to do is cause mass irritation and frustration for everyone.

  6. Oh and the changes are already made- no signs. So that is going to make people mad too since they won't know until they get in line. *sigh*

  7. I would like to respectully disagree about the BOGO limit. I don't live in the Nashville district; I'm in Birmingham. But my experience has been that many of the BOGO deals fly off the shelves quickly by people buying huge quantities. Then the average shopper comes along and has to make multiple trips to Publix hoping they have restocked to even get one deal. There have been many occasions when I've gone in there daily only to come up with zero. That means I have to go to a Publix competitor to buy a needed item because Publix is out. Yes, I do get a raincheck. But our Birmingham Publix's limit us to two deals on rainchecks. That means those who grabbed up all the deals early on the first day can buy dozens of deals, but those with rainchecks can only get two. That's very unfair. Many weeks, I would be thrilled to get six deals. But that option is not available due to the "clear the shelves" folks. To get around the two-deal raincheck rule, on occasion I have had to store-hop for rainchecks. This is expensive (gas) and time-consuming.

    Another negative involving the rainchecks is that sometimes my coupons have expired by the time they get restocked.

    I do think there needs to be some common-sense applied here. Most people don't usually buy or need 12 bottles of Windex, but they may normally buy many jars of baby food or canned vegetables, for examples It looks like Publix could vary the limit, based on common usage.

    Hope this doesn't sound contentious, because I don't mean it to be, but I just wanted to share a different perspective.

    You have a wonderful blog, and I appreciate all of your hard work.

  8. Do you know if the 6 deal limit is referring to BOGO items only? Or is this for any item - sale priced or not?

    The policy about two coupons per item purchased - One Manufacturer's coupon and one Store coupon (Publix or competitor)... I always thought this was the rule anyway, so I'm not too upset about this one.

  9. I have to say I am fine with the new rules. It ensures that everyone gets a fair amount and that we will continue to get great deals. At least they put limits, rather deciding to cut deals in the future to recoop costs.

    And statistics show the large majority of shoppers do GROCERY shop within a few miles of their home.

    Not trying to be negative (just trying to point out the positive, just my two cents!

    Hope we can all adjust to the new rules and appreciate the good deals we receive!

    Thanks for all the great deals you post!!

  10. Mary Ann- thank you for your input. We don't have that problem here too often with the bogos- except on an ocassion where you have a free bogo item, like the Snuggle at 2/$6 with the $3 mq. Plus our stores do not limit rainchecks - they will generally write the raincheck for up to "6 deals" anyway. So we are a little different in our area. And yes, common sense SHOULD be applied. But that doesn't mean it will. I think we all know the rulebook thumping cashiers and managers.

    Anon- my interpretation of the "deal" rule is for anything on bogo, advantage buy or one that you're using a Publix coupon for.

    Jessica- you know, the reason I am so upset is because these rules are against everything a grocery store should be about! Stores are about selling! Not limiting.
    Example: I often buy for four-five families, especially when I can get something free. Bayer Aspirin. Free with the $5/2 Publix coupon. I wanted to get 20 of them (using ten coupons) for my extended family members- I have five family members on aspirin therapy who take aspirin every day. Those 20 bottles would last them about a month or so each. (four bottles to each person) But now I can't do that. I have to get 12 bottles, (and there's tons in stock, so that is a non-issue). And some people may think 20 bottles is too many for one person to buy, so I have to explain my scenario. Then is it ok? Will the manager approve me buying 10 deals instead of 6 because of my situation?
    It shouldn't matter. I should not have to explain to my local grocery store why I want to make a purchase. I should be able to go in, buy what I need and carry on with my day. It's ridiculous and invasive. I too have been in stores and not been able to buy things I wanted because they were shelf-cleared. But I get a raincheck and get it later.
    If Publix wants to fix this problem, the way to do it is to become aware of what the GREAT deals are (read some blogs maybe?) and then stock up on those things, not limit people on buying items. It's backwards. Instead of trying to make money, they're preventing stores from selling product.

  11. I'm surprised that they are at least not saying "limit 12" on the BOGO signs. I saw no sign of the limit today. I don't usually buy that much at once, so I didn't test it, but I think they should mention the limit like Kroger does if they are going to enforce one.

  12. The limit also prevents the whole point of stockpiling. The idea of stockpiling is to buy enough when it's on sale/with coupon so that you don't have to buy it again until the next sale cycle. Yogurts seem to go on sale every three to four weeks and when its bogo we buy 15 or so 4-packs. We go through them like water around here. Easily blowing through 4-6 cups a day or more. 15 4-packs would last us a couple of weeks. But with the new limits, I can't get 15 4-packs. So I'd have to either store-hop to get as many as I want (annoying and time-consuming) or buy it full price when I run out. And that's what stockpiling and couponing is supposed to prevent. Buying things at full price.

  13. I am not surprised that there are limits in place because there are so many people who complain when they can't get what they want - when they want it.

    Every state, region and store seems to be different. The stores determine the limit on the rainchecks, because I know corporate hasn't imposed a 2 deal limit at any Publix I've visited in TN. If you have a problem with the limits call corporate. Better yet, tell CS how much you will need; have them order it in and pick it up (per raincheck request) at the front desk. I know people who live in rural areas and they have to shop once a week for a large family. They don't have the luxury of stopping my multiple times a week to see if shelves have been restocked - so I can't blame them for getting what they need. Likewise I don't think alot of people shop within three miles of their homes as much as they shop where it is convenient. The Publix where I shop is located near several office buildings. Around rush hour it is very busy because people don't want to travel all the way home and have to get out to the store. They avoid traffic, shop and head home.

    Every person has reasons for what they have to purchase. Just because I have to buy food for my family, my mother, my sisters and other relatives who are ill or older doesn't mean I should be punished. I have a feeling that the six deals per item is going to become a six deal per customer before long. Plus the stores that don't like couponers will really run away with this policy because it isn't posted and the consumer doesn't have "proof" of the limitations. I guess discrimination supported by the masses is okay. I shouldn't be restricted from purchasing the quantity I need. If a person can only get six deals to keep the shelves stocked they should be openly offered the opportunity to request additional product to be ordered in and offered at the ad price.

  14. I still think their policy is doable. If you need more items just take your purchases to your car and come back for more. Since there is not a card like at Kroger, Harris Teeter, or Food Lion, they really can't tell. I pass three Publix on my way home from work so if I need more of one item I will just go to multiple stores during that week. Also, at least they are not saying only one coupon on a BOGO or only 3 like coupons like Harris Teeter, this drives me nuts and not worth my time to go there. I am disapointed with the competitors coupons but it was fun while it lasted. However, I heard that my Publix will take Wags coupons now since they are right across the street so I'm excited about that. I'll miss the Food Lion and Target but Wags will make up for it IMO.

  15. I have a question. You mentioned that stores make money off of the coupons. If a coupon is $.50, it is automatically doubled. Who is responsible for the other $.50 that is extended to the consumer (store or manufacturer)? I'm interested to know how all of that works and how they would make money on an item that we're getting free because of a doubled coupon. I'm still learning. Thanks for your patience.

  16. Tshanina - The store is responsible for the doubled portion of a coupon. I'd recommend reading this post by Jenny at Southern Savers to get a good idea of how coupons are handled.

  17. Have you heard if MF isn't taking ANY $/$$ coupons or only the drug store ones? I was originally told they would still take Kroger, HG Hill, GFS, etc.

  18. The only loss to a store are coupon doubles and competitor coupons. They do not receive any reimbursement for those. Manufacturer coupons are reimbursed full face value plus $.08 and Publix coupons are reimbursed at approximately 80% face value (give or take).

  19. The new Nashville rules are NO GFS coupons or X/XX for any competitor except traditional grocery stores. As far as I have been told they will still take "dollars off" coupons for traditional grovery stores, but not for drugstores or GFS. In the "big meeting" store managers were told to not take any GFS coupons any more.

  20. Daphne thanks for the link. Jenny is right on all points- she's very smart and knowledgeable about coupons. :)

    I would like to add that a Publix manager recently told me that the redemption value on Publix coupons is running right around 75-80% of face value, and the redemption on bogos is right around 75%. (or vice-versa, I might have those mixed up).

    Yes, that's right all- Publix gets reimbursed for bogos- did you know that? That's why they hate to issue rainchecks. They get their money back for the item when you buy it on sale, but when you use the raincheck they lose those profits.

  21. Have you heard anything about them not accepting RR? I went tonight to MF and they would not take my Wags RR! I explained that they are not store or competitor, but an actual Mfg Q & Publix will get reimbursed the amount + handing fees. I was quite upset & complained to the CS Mgr (Sandy??). I don't know how much good it did though...

  22. Jennifer- I had NOT heard that! I don't see any reason why they would not take them as they truly are manuq's and state on them an address to send to for reimbursement, etc. What did Sandy say? She's generally pretty reasonable about the q issues. I will have to ask her about them when i go in next time.

  23. p.s. that might be an issue to send an email about. RR's ARE manu q's. They are coupons issued by the manufacturer (at Walgreens) when you buy their product. It is a marketing ploy for you to buy their product at full price and get a coupon to use toward any other item. There is no reason any store shouldn't take them, Publix, Kroger, Harris Teeter, whoever. ALL stores will be reimbursed for them.

  24. I was at the Cool Springs Publix (Moores Lane) yesterday and noticed a sign on the register: They will no longer be accepting competitor's coupons from nontraditional grocery stores, even if they are local. They will, however, accept competitor's Qs from traditional grocery stores. I can't remember every store that was on the list, but here are a few (when I go back in again, I'll try to get a more complete list, or maybe someone else can add to it):

    Whole Foods
    HG Hill
    Harris Teeter

    Not Accepting:
    Food Lion (the local one is closing)
    Rite Aid