retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Tampa Tribune reports that Publix Super Markets will launch a digital coupon system this week that "lets shoppers browse hundreds of relatively higher-value coupons online, virtually clip them out, and redeem the discounts automatically at the checkout lane."

According to the story, shoppers will register online to participate in the program, and use their phone numbers for identification purposes; the company has to use phone numbers since Publix does not have a card program, which ordinarily would be used to link customers to the coupons redeemed.

The company emphasizes in the story that this is designed to supplement, not replace, traditional paper coupons.
KC's View:
The digital coupons may not replace paper coupons for the moment, but it strikes me as totally inevitable that paper coupons - especially the mass mailing of FSIs and coupon packages that offer often irrelevant discounts to people who may or may not be shoppers at a particular store - are going away. (See the references to what Kroger is doing in the "Reporting In" piece, above.)