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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Meghan S.

Coupons are a wonderful tool of business to the retail world. They create opportunity for both the customer, and business. As a consumer and an employee at Kohl’s Department store, I see the affects of coupons every time I work. Customers who come into our store with a coupon of any kind automatically have better attitudes than those who do not. They smile more, are more talkative, and of course purchase more items. These customers are usually “regulars”, as they hold they are more likely to hold the store credit card, know more about our current and past deals. They also tend to make a comment on when they will return. Our store offers coupons call “Kohl’s Cash”. They are dollar off coupons offered in increments of ten, after every fifty dollars spent. I have personally never had a customer who was fifteen dollars or less shy of getting Kohl’s cash, or the next level of Kohl’s cash, who did not leave the register and return with more merchandise to ensure that they receive these coupons. Customers who may happen to not come nearly as close as others to receiving these coupons, will use our policy of combining receipts, for example, they will bring in a receipt with a total of thirty dollars for example. They will make sure that they spend at least twenty dollars in their next purchase to ensure their reception of Kohl’s Cash. Thus they spend more when this coupon is running.

The same goes for if we have percents off if you spend certain amounts. We at times will have 25% off for a purchase over one hundred dollars, and 20% off of those lower than one hundred. Customers again who are not far off of the one hundred dollar total, will leave the register to purchase more. In contrast, if we happen to have a customer who has an expired coupon, which they will try to use, usually our store still accepts it. I usually receive a compliment on the store, business or even myself at times when I am able to honor an expired coupon for a customer. They will then usually say things like “this is why I love Kohl’s” or “ you guys are my favorite store,” and I usually see these customers return soon after, and continue to make large purchases. Our computer screens also alert us to inform a customer if an item they purchased is buy one get one fifty percent off, most of the time the customer will buy two of the item, even if they are exactly the same, or an item that people usually would not buy two of, like a food processor.

However, there are exceptions we cannot make. If a coupon is too expired, we must deny the customer. Or at times certain products we sell that are not manufactured by our company (such as high value electronics) are not applicable to our company exclusive coupons, for patent or manufacture reasons. For example if a customer has a thirty percent off coupon, buys various merchandise, and one of their items is a Fitbit, or Beats headphones by Dre, the coupon is inapplicable to that specific item. Many times in these circumstances, customers change their mind on the item and do not purchase it. In this instance they are usually disappointed and upset.

A note from us at I’m In: We can help you save on your choice of electronics, too!

I myself as a customer do the same exact thing. I am not a shopper, but I do more shopping now that I get an employee discount. I just like other customers wait for items to go on sale or clearance, and will purchase more for certain deals, like Kohl’s cash. I will wait for my employee discounts to stack, or rise before I buy an item. I have also noticed that I and other customers will spend more if I see how much I save. The higher the amount I supposedly save, the more I and others spend. Our display signs always show the original and sale prices, and our receipts show how much a customer saved on a purchase because of coupons or sales. Many times when a customer is with another person, they may comment on how much they saved. This is usually on large purchases, which these customers usually return.

Coupons allow you to save money on what you purchase versus what you would lose without them on the purchase. Our sales go up when we have coupons tremendously, and the better the sale or coupon, the higher they increase. Thus concludes that even if you work retail, and know the psychology of retail and coupons, they still will influence you to make larger purchases, and especially if you do not know a lot about retail.

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