CLEVELAND, Ohio — Father time is undefeated, and it will win another round against tradition in 2023.
Giant Eagle will no longer be mailing its weekly ad out in the Cleveland market. Instead, it will start emailing the ad to customers.
It’s a change from tradition for some, who grew up getting ads in the newspaper and then in the mail. But the electronic way is a growing trend among retailers.
Target, CVS and Walgreens have already gone digital-only, as more chains shift away from print circulars.
Giant Eagle will stop sending the weekly ad on Jan. 12, according to a notice posted in store’s current weekly ads.
Printed copies of the weekly ad will be available in-store. Giant Eagle also makes the weekly ad available on its app and website.
The change is in only in the Cleveland market, for now. Spokeswoman Jannah Jablonowski said the Akron/Canton market will phase out weekly ads at a later date. Giant Eagle had already stopped mailing weekly ads in Columbus.
The ads were generally sent by mail on Wednesday for sales that started Thursday and lasted through the next Wednesday.
Somali Ghosh, an associate professor of marketing at Case Western Reserve University, said it’s a logical shift, but one where Giant Eagle should be a little cautious.
She said digital ads and coupons have been on the rise for the last 10 years, and while many people now have smartphones and use the internet, many seniors still don’t.
According to a Pew Research survey done in 2021, many people over 65 are adopting technology. Though they lag behind younger generations.
In 2012 13% of people over 65 said they owned a smartphone, now 61% of them do, according to the survey. It said 95% of people under 49 had a smartphone. The gap between the groups has closed considerably, but its still there.
Especially with shopping, people fall back on old habits, Ghosh said.
“It simply isn’t something that they grew up with,” Ghosh said. “It’s not easy for them to adopt to the new technology, and if they can adopt to that technology they may not like it.”
The trend will keep moving, though. Procter & Gamble, which makes everything from diapers to shampoos, will stop sending its brandSAVER inserts in newspapers in 2023.
Ghosh said digital coupons have a lot of advantages. It’s harder to copy or abuse them, but they’re also easier to track. Marketing professionals have to justify their spending and being able to know when and how coupons are used is helpful, Ghosh said.
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