Retailers, consumers and prices
U.S. consumers’ use of coupons soared 27 percent last year as they sought relief from a tough economy, according to a report released on Monday by Inmar, which tracks coupon use.
In 2009, consumers redeemed about $3.5 billion in coupons. Shoppers used 3.3 billion coupons for everything from laundry detergent to cereal, about 700,000 more than in 2008. The internet drove much of the growth, as online coupon redemption spiked 360 percent.
Marketers, desperate to stoke sales, enabled that, issuing a record number of coupons, on and offline, putting out 367 billion coupons with an average face value of $1.44 each last year. But expiration periods were about 10 percent shorter in 2009, apparently in a bid not to make the deals too sweet.