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Nov 8, 2008 06:18 PM

Fresh & Easy Coupons Changing in LA & OC [moved from LA board]

Fresh & Easy has changed their coupon system. Instead of handing out coupons worth a $5 savings on purchases of $20 or more, they are posting coupons online (which you can print out) worth $6 on purchases of $30 or more.

I guess the honeymoon is over.

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  1. I've also noticed that prices have crept up incrementally on many items, eg, 10 or 20 cents. OTOH, they've expanded the number of weekly promotions. And the markdown policies continue to change, seemingly weekly and store by store.

    1. A follow-up: Since I posted my original post, I tried to find the online coupon. I couldn't find it anywhere on their website.

      When I shopped there today, I asked the guy for next week's coupon (which is a great deal). He informed me that they were no longer offering coupons in-store, but coupons were online (at the reduced rate of savings). I can't find them as of tonight.

      4 Replies
      1. re: JeffSD

        bummer, I live alone and spending $20 in one place was possible when I needed a bunch of stuff at once, but I don't think i'll ever need to spend $30 in there.

        I've heard they're not making much money and I've noticed even dry goods like chocolate and even canned items that should have really long expiration dates are being marked down to get rid of. I live 2 miles from one and they don't do any promotion at all. I really like the store, I hope they can make it but the way things seem to be going for them... seems inauspicious.

        1. re: JeffSD

          Yeah, I couldn't find them either, obviously their model is in flux and experiencing transition problems.

          And yes, it was bliss during the honeymoon as you rcall it, with the 5 off 20, fabulous discounts on desirable items, consistent quality in the meats and veggies, and lotsa items priced low everyday. I was a big fan and heaped praise on this site. But obviously the model was not paying off as expected, and now the pendulum is beginning to swing other way: Reduced coupon discount, less consistency in product quality, less desirable sale items and with smaller discounts, and price creep in general.

          One factor potentially contributing to F&E's woes is that by now folks have been conditioned to getting 50% discounts on the last day of sale of an item, so some will hold off from buying when there are items a day or two from expiration, increasing the amount of unsold product and contributing negatively to the bottom line. This syndrome poses a problem for groceries, Ralph's discounts somewhat haphazardly and often when the product is in poor shape, Von's rarely if ever discounts produce, sometimes meats but selectively. The consumer is kept off balance and can't reliably count on deep discounts, just a pleasant surprise from time to time.

          And there's one more bogeyman that might significantly hinder F&E's competitiveness, and that's the union. They've already targeted F&E as their big prize and if the union prevails (labor friendly admin in the wings) you can kiss F&E's price advantage goodbye. Maybe they'll compete on convenience, but not likely on price.

          I still have a stack of 5 off 20's good through tomorrow, so I'm going shopping while the going is good, for as many long shelf life items as I have room to store, Oh well, it was good while it lasted, and while I realized the good old days would end sooner or later, sooner came much quicker than I thought. RIP.

          1. re: JeffSD

            When I was there two days ago, in that little box that usually has the coupons, was a half-sheet that had the link for the new coupon. Unfortunately I tossed it, thinking I wouldn't d be spending $30 on any one trip. Maybe someone else can post it. I believe when they did that $6 off $30 previously, the link was not live for very long.

            Some one in the grocery business is doing a major competitor pricing comparison study right now, btw.

            It's actually been a year since the first store opened.

            I haven't noticed a drop in quality, but the product mix keeps changing as they learn what sells (haven't seen those pig trotters in a while). I miss the wider range of fresh meat and seafood that they first had. And I notice that they're discontinuing a bunch of the cheeses...very slight discount (50 cents per package but if you need to use up those coupons...)

            The diver scallops are still nice.

            1. re: mlgb

              And I strongly commend F&E on their marking down perishables on expiration day rather than letting them sit there and rot away, although a graduated pricing a day or two before expiration would make more sense. I find it amazing that fanatic greenies might key SUVs in the big grocers' parking lots but not take any umbrage at the waste of resources when rotting produce and meats have to be discarded. F&E's approach to the problem is much friendlier to the planet.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. We have Fresh and Easy in San Diego also. Last week, they were handing out reminders that coupons will be online for us, too. It isn't a L.A. thing.

              Oh, the coupons are online today. "Be sure to cut out your coupon before you come to the store".

              1. re: Cathy

                Just received the original coupons in the mail- spend $20 and get $5 off. Maybe it is limited to the Scottsdale, Az. locale. I appreciate many of their items- tomato soup, tapenade, etc. Hope they won't be going out of business.

                1. re: hopegoode

                  Yeah no such coupons in LA.

                  So much for moving the post to chains because it's all the same.

                  1. re: mlgb

                    Since they don't accept any other coupons but their own, they have to do something to attract business, whether F&E discount coupons or specials. It was $5 off 20 for a while along with some buffo specials to boot, now $6 from 30 & blah specials for the most part. We'll see how it shakes out.

            2. With 2 new stores opening in Bakersfield December 3, they were handing out coupons at the stores, HOWEVER, I was able to print the $5 coupon from the web site. The coupons at the store were spread out over several weeks.

              1. I work for F & E and I understand that everyone is bummed out about the coupons. however, they will not disappear completely. The Company was losing a lot of money on the 5 off 20 coups tho and they were bound to fade away. However, for anyone near a store that is having their 1 year anniversary, you will probably receive coupons in the mail. For example, one of the stores in the city of Orange just had their 1 year anniversary and the company mailed out $5 off $20 coupons to over 10,000 homes around the area. Also, if you are around any store that is having a grand opening, you can get coupons there and can use them at any F&E. I also suspect we might be seeing coupons like, 2, 3, or 4 dollars off 20. Anyways, that's all i got. Also, in response to bernardo, all the F & E stores try their hardest to get all of the markdowns, and we always mark down products if we are going to discontinue them. And in case anybody was wondering, we donate about 95 percent of what we don't sell to local food banks. Most store's have a different food bank, some share the same one, but the food bank people pick up food from us every morning. We even donate flowers that the food bank takes to local hospitals. I say 95 percent, because sometimes stuff gets damaged and we have to throw it away. Anyways, sorry about the long post.

                1 Reply
                1. re: eaze323

                  Yes even without the coupons, F&E is still my first stop on my weekly circuit. Although I admit that the markdowns and specials are what draw me in, the regular prices are certainly fair, and many of their own-brand products are excellent.

                  It's good to hear about the donations to food banks, they are really hurting this year.