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Publix to Pilot Paperless Coupon Program

This summer the grocery store chain will start testing digital coupons that shoppers can redeem at checkout without their loyalty card.

Publix Super Markets has held off running a loyalty-card program for its shoppers, but has initiated a pilot program that would give customers digital discounts at checkout via their phone number, the Tampa Tribune reports. Publix hasn’t yet decided if the initiative will go system-wide.

Other stores have tied in their membership cards to digital coupons with companies such as SmartSource automatically sending applicable coupons to the customer’s loyalty card during checkout. The Publix program bypasses those cards in favor of linking digital coupons to a phone number. Customers would register online at SmartSource.com or Publix.com to receive the paperless coupons.

“We're just beginning to look at this with Publix, and will provide some coupon content to them,” said Henri Lellouche with News America Marketing, which publishes SmartSource. The Publix system will likely debut in some stores this summer.

“Publix understands that coupons are very important to many of our customers and are gaining popularity every day,” said Shannon Patten, spokeswoman. “Therefore we are exploring options that will enable our customers to continue saving money while making it more convenient to do so.”

The grocery store chain has several new coupon programs under consideration “in a limited environment for a pre-determined timeframe,” she said.

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