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Vons Cuts Back On Couponing

Vons has announced that it will match Ralphs in limiting how much coupon clippers can collect from high-value coupons. According to the new policies of both chains, if a coupon is less than or equal to 50 cents, its value will be doubled. If a coupon is worth more than 50 cents but less than $1, its value will be capped at $1. All coupons worth $1 or more will be redeemed at their face value.

"The grocery business is highly competitive, and we frequently refine our promotions based on the market," Vons says. Indeed, the chain is known for its coupon flip-flops. Two years ago, it said it was taking a scissors to its double-coupon policy, but it eventually brought back the promotion because of competitive pressures.

Ralphs operates 262 supermarkets in Southern California. Including its Pavilions division, Vons has 277 stores in Southern and Central California. The ability of Southern California shoppers to double a coupon for more than $1 in savings was actually an anomaly, says Teri Gault, founder and CEO of, an online service that, for a fee, helps consumers optimize coupon savings.



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