Number of Christmas Shoppers Seeking Coupon and Voucher Promotions set to Soar According to Research From Valassis

By Valassis Ltd, PRNE
Wednesday, December 14, 2011

CORBY, England, December 15, 2011 -

- As the economy continues to struggle, new research shows consumers are more likely to turn to  coupon promotions to make Christmas as special as ever -

Key findings:

  • 32% of women (vs 27% of all shoppers) are looking for more promotional offers than they were this time last year as the belt tightening seen in 2010 continues to get worse this Christmas
  • Almost a quarter of shoppers (23%) who are looking for more promotions state they have less money than they did a year ago (up from 12% in April 2011)  
  • Only 8% of shoppers would remain loyal to their supermarket of choice if other retailers were offering better discounts at Christmas
  • 78% of shoppers are planning to use promotional offers when doing their Christmas shopping this year, with 54% stating they intend to use three or more different promotional mechanics
  • 74% of wealthier AB shoppers plan to use money off vouchers when Christmas shopping vs. the average of 59%

New independent market research from Gfk NOP commissioned by Valassis Ltd, shows that more than ever, deal hungry consumers will be turning to coupons and vouchers to make their budgets stretch further throughout the festive period. The UK’s flagging economy continues to put a squeeze on shopping habits, and surprisingly even time poor, cash rich AB shoppers intend to make smart use of coupons and vouchers to keep down the Christmas bills.

According to the research, 32% of women are looking for more promotional offers than they were this time last year (versus 27% of all shoppers). Top of the list of mechanics people intend to use for saving money was ‘money off’ product coupons, with 65% of shoppers planning to use this mechanic when doing their Christmas grocery shopping. Meanwhile 59% of shoppers will use ‘money off’ vouchers, which would, for example, give them £5.00 off a £40.00 basket spend, when doing their Christmas grocery shopping.

Eighteen percent of shoppers confess to being genuinely worried about how much they will spend on groceries this Christmas, with the rise in the cost of living cited as the main reason for an increasingly frugal approach to promotions (40% - up from 23% in April ‘11), as is the price of food (28%). Almost a quarter (23%) of those shoppers who are seeking out more promotional offers state they simply have less money than they did a year ago.  

Charles D’Oyly, managing director of Valassis UK, says, “The economic climate is making it harder for shoppers to get into the Christmas spirit this year as they carefully count their pennies in the face of rising gas, electricity, fuel and food costs, and read daily headlines about recession and major eurozone concerns.  What is particularly noticeable is the declining consumer confidence. When we commissioned a similar survey in April 2011, only 12% of the respondents said they had less money than a year ago but within seven months this has almost doubled (23%).”

Contrary to stereotypes, the research indicates that it is wealthier AB consumers who are the savvier shoppers, with 74% of people in this demographic planning to use money-off vouchers (compared to an average of 59%) and 26% are looking out for more products on promotion when they do their Christmas shopping. In total, 61% of this group are likely to use both these mechanics.

Worryingly for retailers, only 8% of shoppers stated that they would remain loyal to their supermarket of choice if other retailers were offering better Christmas shopping deals.  Echoing this point, 42% of shoppers plan to shop in more stores to redeem all the store specific coupons and vouchers that they have, and this is most prominent among the 16 - 34 age group (59%); behaviour they are likely to continue as they get older.

D’Oyly concludes, “Money was tight for consumers last Christmas but this latest research highlights that now things are even worse.  With consumer finances stretched to breaking point, brand and retailer loyalty seems to be in short supply.  Retailers and brands therefore need to fight hard to retain customers by offering them promotional incentives that can drive down costs and bring more Christmas cheer to UK households up and down the country.”

About Valassis Ltd

Valassis Ltd, the UK’s leading coupon and voucher services provider, helps major brands adopt a more integrated approach to their sales promotion investments.

Valassis performs crucial data management and financial clearing services for the likes of Sainsbury’s, Unilever and Associated Newspapers. Responsible for handling most of the UK’s coupons and vouchers, Valassis Ltd is uniquely positioned to deliver insights on UK consumer promotions and is often quoted as an expert in the media.

Valassis is part of Valassis Communications Inc, the US’s leading media and marketing services company offering unparalleled reach and scale to more than 15,000 advertisers. Its RedPlum media portfolio delivers value on a weekly basis to over 100 million shoppers across a multi-media platform - in-home, in-store and in-motion. Headquartered in Livonia, Michigan, Valassis employs approximately 7,000 associates worldwide in countries including Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and the UK. Other Valassis companies include Valassis Direct Mail, Inc., Valassis Canada, Promotion Watch, Valassis Relationship Marketing Systems, LLC and NCH Marketing Services, Inc. For more information, visit

For further information, please contact:

Kieran Kent / Kirsty Cornell
tel: +44(0)1932-578800

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