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Money-off for the job-free

You don’t need me to tell you that coupons are big business at the moment with cash-strapped consumers turning to money-off vouchers like never before, undoubtedly helped by the ease with which they can now be distributed and printed-off via the internet. By Glynn Davis, City editor

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Money-off for the job-free

What will undoubtedly be less widely known is the emergence of discount shopping programmes for unemployed people, which are starting to gain some tract
ion in the US, with Kmart recently launching a 'Smart Savings Assist' card in its home town of Michigan.

It is being given to out of work people who can use it for up to six months and enjoy 20 per cent reductions on Kmart's private label goods such as baby products, cleaners and certain key grocery items.

This follows other similar card schemes such as that from Spartan Stores which issued cards to former employees of General Motors who have been able to use the card for one month to gain 10 per cent discounts on groceries.

Another example is 'Recession Assistance' from the New York-based Green Hills supermarket chain that enables unemployed people to take advantage of a renewable 10 per cent discount on their weekly shopping through its loyalty programme.

To my knowledge such programmes have not made any headway in the UK but with unemployment still predicted to hit the three million mark and shoppers maintaining a voracious appetite for offers it seems inevitable that they will appear.

glynnd@theretailbulletin.com

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