Dec. 10, 2012: Coupon Use Shows Volatility

Coupon redemption declined by almost 23% in the third quarter of 2012, compared with the same period last year, according to a report from Inmar, a technology company based in Winston-Salem, N.C. The decline was caused by a combination of fewer and less attractive offers being made available, a generally more optimistic economic outlook among shoppers and continued volatility in the marketplace, the company said. The drop in redemption came despite a 7.6% increase in coupon distribution, Inmar said. In many cases, distribution shifted away from methods with high redemption rates, such as on-packs, to methods with lower rates. Inmar projected that the increase in third-quarter distribution, however, coming on the heels of a six-month pullback in distribution, is likely to lift coupon redemption rates in the fourth quarter. Separately, coupon distributor Valassis recently issued reports showing strong interest in mobile and online coupons.

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