Sainsbury’s tries auto couponing

Sainsbury’s is rolling out instant coupon machines into 150 of its stores across the country, after signing deals with six major packaged goods companies. Aspen, the specialist media agency running the scheme, has signed up KP Frisps, McVitie’s Go Ahead Ice Cream and Van den Bergh’s Cup-a-Soup to supply coupons. Cereal Partners and Douwe Egberts have signed for the next four-week cycle. Each company will pay 40 per store for a four-week campaign, in which it has control of the only coupon machine in its category. Up to 20 machines can be fitted per store, and up to five may carry the store’s own-label coupons – each machine will be fitted at eye level next to the relevant product. Customers will be able to take a discount coupon and use it immediately. It is hoped the scheme will attract people who cannot be bothered to cut out on-pack coupons, and those reluctant to give personal details. Simon Ogden, managing director of Aspen, says: “It is category exclusive and we are hoping advertisers will buy up their category for a whole year.” Sainsbury’s is the first UK supermarket to install the machines which are already very popular in the US, where they are used in 25,000 retail outlets. But Ogden says Aspen is “looking at a deal with Iceland and is in talks with another major retailer”. Aspen is sole licensee of the instant coupon machine concept in the UK. The US franchise owner is Murdoch-owned News America Marketing.

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