Valassis-logoAnnual RedPlum® Purse String Study Reveals Shopper Insights

LIVONIA, Mich., Sept. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Valassis (NYSE: VCI), one of the nation’s leading media and marketing services companies, announced today results of its Fifth Annual RedPlum® Purse String Study that indicates consumers’ proficiency in seeking deals is saving them both time and money. They are also becoming more social in their savings and those who share deals, save more.

Overall, 62% spend up to two hours weekly seeking out savings and save up to $30 each week using coupons.  But there was an 18% increase this year vs. last year in those spending less than one hour looking for coupons, deals and savings from all sources, yet the average savings dollars remained consistent.

“These findings indicate that consumers are still very interested in savings and have developed a forever frugal mindset,” said Lisa Reynolds, Valassis Vice President of Consumer Engagement. “They have become so accustomed to searching for value that these deal-seeking behaviors have become second nature to them. They clearly value the dollar as well as their time.”

It’s all About Sharing and Becoming Social

Eighty-two percent of respondents share/swap coupons and deals with family and friends regularly. When asked what they would do to receive 25% or more in savings, 75% would sign up for an email newsletter; 67% would “like” a page on Facebook; and 17% would Tweet or Retweet a deal, up 5% from 2011. Shoppers who are social and share deals with friends and family tend to save more. According to the study, 50% of respondents who “always” share deals save $31 or more weekly; compared to 18% of people who “never” share deals.


Strategic Savers Use Print AND Digital

Savvy shoppers use both traditional and digital sources to garner the most savings. The number of respondents comparing prices online and in print is up 9% over 2011. Sixty-one percent of respondents plan their shopping trips around circulars, coupons and deals, up 10% from 2011. Those using their smartphones for savings are most often accessing a coupon in an email followed by comparing deals, downloading a coupon and downloading a savings app.
The Purse String Study also reveals that:

  • More consumers are using mobile coupons and apps since last year, up over 100% from 2011;
  • While all income groups significantly increased their usage of mobile coupons and apps, those in the less than $20,000 income level group tripled their response over last year;
  • 79% of respondents who are increasingly planning their shopping around circulars save up to $50weekly;
  • 79% of respondents using more mobile coupons this year are saving up to $50 a week;
  • 82% of respondents who are using more online coupons this year are saving up to $50 a week; and
  • 88% of deal seekers are most likely to visit their favorite savings or deal websites at least weekly.

Grocery Still Rules  

The categories consumers are most interested in finding coupons, codes and deals has remained consistent with groceries being the No. 1 category, followed by dining out/restaurants and clothing. Items that ranked lower in previous years are starting to rise from the recession, such as travel, a 29% increase over 2011 and services such as dry cleaners and hair salons – a 25% increase over 2011.

According to the Purse String Study, 71% of respondents most often get their coupons and deals from the newspaper, followed by emails/coupon alerts, retail circulars, Internet searches and mail. Additionally, the percentage of consumers who most often use mobile phone text messages to get a deal doubled from 2011.


Allocating Savings for Basic Necessities

For the third consecutive year, a majority of shoppers (60%) have said they are using their savings for basic necessities, although that is down 16% from 2011. Paying down debt, which ranked No. 2 in 2011 and 2010 was significantly lower than the past two years with only 4% allocating their savings toward debt. Long-term savings (i.e. college/retirement) ranked second in 2012, accounting for 15% of respondents. Only 3% said they would use the money saved from couponing to splurge, down from 7% in 2011. Yet, respondents’ confidence over their family’s financial situation has remained fairly static over the past three years with a slight upswing in 2012.

About the Study

For the fifth year, in conjunction with National Coupon Month in September, RedPlum has conducted a savings Study to gain insight from today’s shopper; learn more about their shopping behaviors; where consumers are looking for deals; what lengths they will go to seek deals; what they are doing with their savings; and what influencers are driving their frugality. The 2012 RedPlum Purse String Study is based on insights from more than 9,100 respondents. The survey was conducted on from June 12 through July 11. To download an infographic based on this study, go to:


About Valassis

Valassis is one of the nation’s leading media and marketing services companies, offering unparalleled reach and scale to more than 15,000 advertisers. Its RedPlum® media portfolio delivers value on a weekly basis to over 100 million shoppers across a multi-media platform – in-home, in-store and in-motion. Through its digital offerings, including and, consumers can find compelling national and local deals. Headquartered in Livonia, Michigan with approximately 7,000 associates in 28 states and eight countries,Valassis is widely recognized for its associate and corporate citizenship programs, including its America’s Looking for Its Missing Children® program. Valassis companies include Valassis Direct Mail, Inc., Valassis Canada, Promotion Watch, Valassis Relationship Marketing Systems, LLC, NCH Marketing Services, Inc.and For more information, visit and To learn about advertising opportunities with RedPlum, please call 1-800-437-0479.


Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-looking Statements

This document contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the following: price competition from our existing competitors; new competitors in any of our businesses; a shift in client preferences for different promotional materials, strategies or coupon delivery methods, including, without limitation, as a result of declines in newspaper circulation and/or increased competition from new media formats including digital; an unforeseen increase in paper or postal costs; changes which affect the businesses of our clients and lead to reduced sales promotion spending, including, without limitation, a decrease of marketing budgets which are generally discretionary in nature and easier to reduce in the short-term than other expenses; our substantial indebtedness, and ability to refinance such indebtedness, if necessary, and our ability to incur additional indebtedness, may affect our financial health; the financial condition, including bankruptcies, of our clients, suppliers, senior secured credit facility lenders or other counterparties; certain covenants in our debt documents could adversely restrict our financial and operating flexibility; fluctuations in the amount, timing, pages, weight and kinds of advertising pieces from period to period, due to a change in our clients’ promotional needs, inventories and other factors, including, without limitation, high levels of coupon redemption rates; our failure to attract and retain qualified personnel may affect our business and results of operations; a rise in interest rates could increase our borrowing costs; possible governmental regulation or litigation affecting aspects of our business; clients experiencing financial difficulties, or otherwise being unable to meet their obligations as they become due, could affect our results of operations and financial condition; uncertainty in the application and interpretation of applicable state sales tax laws may expose us to additional sales tax liability; and general economic conditions, whether nationally, internationally, or in the market areas in which we conduct our business, including the adverse impact of the ongoing economic downturn on the marketing expenditures and activities of our clients and prospective clients as well as our vendors, with whom we rely on to provide us with quality materials at the right prices and in a timely manner. These and other risks and uncertainties related to our business are described in greater detail in our filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including our reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q and the foregoing information should be read in conjunction with these filings.  We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE Valassis

Mary Broaddus, Director, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications, +1-734-591-7375,