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PublixDirect, the online arm of Publix Super Markets, announced that it will begin accepting manufacturer coupons from consumers shopping over the Internet.

The service, which launched in 2001 and says it has now made 200,000 deliveries, said it was responding to consumer demand in making the change. It had hoped to wait to accept coupons until online coupons became a currency of choice, but consumers forced the retailer’s hand.

PublixDirect personnel collect the coupons while making deliveries, with the value credited to their account for their next online purchase.
KC's View:
Granted, taking paper coupons at this point in the development of e-grocery services can be cumbersome. Let’s call it what it is: a pain in the…neck.

But it seems to us that to not accept coupons is to make a strategic error, because it creates a differential disadvantage for such services. The whole point of online grocery shopping, it seems to us, is not to separate it from the brick-and-mortar experience, but rather to make it just another avenue through which to do regular shopping. It works when it is considered mainstream and integrated, not when it is separated by different policies.