Extreme concerns raised with second season of 'Extreme Couponing'

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The second season of "Extreme Couponing" debuted on TLC Wednesday evening, and with the new season came a renewed concern as to how extreme couponers will impact value promotions at retail.

That may be one of the more significant concerns for retailers, according to a Bloomberg report published Wednesday — that promotions are attracting one-time buyers who cherry-pick their way through the weekly shopping trip in place of loyal consumers.

According to the Bloomberg report, retail-specific loyalty programs are the answer. For example, CVS Caremark awards "Extra Bucks" to its ExtraCare shoppers who buy a grouping of items. Those "Extra Bucks" can only be redeemed on future shopping visits to CVS.

According to a Drug Store News poll earlier this year, 57% of respondents deemed extreme couponing bad for business. Another big problem with extreme couponing is "how it's affecting the availability of product for other customers," David Fikes, director of consumer affairs for the Food Marketing Institute, told DSN in its June cover story on the subject. "When someone comes in with coupons and just wipes out a whole shelf of product, that's not … proper use of couponing."

TLC's "Extreme Couponing" series has averaged 1.9 million total viewers during its first season, according to TLC.

"'Extreme Couponing' has struck a chord with our viewers and has sparked a passion in people who are looking for creative ways to save money," stated Amy Winter, general manager of TLC. "The series is creating even more super shoppers, and we are lining our shelves with their remarkable stories."

TLC has ordered 12 episodes for the second season.

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