Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bi-Lo & Competitor Coupons

I spoke with a store manager of Bi-Lo yesterday and have gotten some very interesting news.  

The Goose Creek, SC Bi-Lo store on St. James Boulevard is now accepting competitors coupons!  

This could definitely change the way we shop at Bi-Lo for sure.  

Here are the details:

-This is a trial run, only for this specific store.  

-They will accept any competitor's coupons.  Any of the stores "within a stone's throw" including drugstores (Rite Aid, Walgreens, and CVS) that issue coupons will be accepted.  

-They will not accept $/$$ coupons.  They will only accept $ OFF coupons for specific items.  They will not honor another store's ad - it must be a clipped coupon.  

-The coupons will be "stackable" with manufacturer's coupons.  

Unfortunatley, here's the kicker.....

Bi-Lo is reserving the right to refuse any coupon(s).  

The manager told me that since this is a huge loss for them, they can't always honor every coupon.  He said that their accepting the competitor's coupon will "depend on the cart size" - basically how much money you are spending on everything else.  

This is incredibly frustrating in my opinion.  

"Yes, we will accept competitor coupons.  When we feel like it.  If you are spending enough money on other stuff here."  

While I get their theory, I am afraid it's going to cause more shoppers 
to feel negatively about Bi-Lo than before.  

This Bi-Lo store is only about a block from one of the highest "coupon shopped" Publix store.  The Publix on St. James accepts nearly every competitor coupon available, allows for overage and stacking.  Not to mention, the cashiers and customer service team are very pleasant when it comes to coupons.  

The two cashiers I spoke with at Bi-Lo yesterday were very unhappy about having to possibly ring up more coupons.  I don't think Bi-Lo has invested enough time in educating their cashiers about how coupons work (many of them honestly still believe we are stealing from them)!  

 Everyone is realizing that coupons are where it's at - and Bi-Lo wants to compete.

  Unfortunately, this will be a serious case of "YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY" until there is a written policy.  

So, I will let you know each week of any competitor's coupons I see that match up and would make for a great deal.  

What do you think?  Are you willing to give Bi-Lo a try?  

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