Kroger calls loyal customers with mobile coupons

Get a dollar off on Cheerios, if you bring your mobile phone? This could be the case as grocery store chain Kroger has entered a partnership with mobile couponing services firm Cellfire to of­fer consumers coupons via the mobile phone when they shop.

The new program, which will launch at the end of the second quarter, includes partnerships with packaged foods compa­nies Procter & Gamble, Del Monte, Gen­eral Mills and Kimberly-Clark. These companies will offer various discounts via the Cellfire mobile service.

“The goal is to help consumers save money while shopping at Kroger and to get them to do so by engaging with their mobile phone,” said Brent Dusing, CEO of Cellfire.

The campaign encourages customers to sign up for the Kroger loyalty pro­gram, as the benefit is exclusive to mem­bers. Participants in the Cellfire program can download the service to their mobile phones via WAP or Java to search for offers and discounts offered throughout the Kroger store. The program is inte­grated into Kroger’s existing loyalty pro­gram and ties into the retailer’s back end point-of-sale system, so it automatically redeems Cellfire coupons for registered users upon checkout.

The coupons offered will be mobile-exclusive and will be specific to the store location. The program will begin in one region of the country, though Dusing would not say where exactly. He did say that they program would expand nation­wide by the end of the year.

To promote the coupons, Kroger will use in-store signage with offers, as well as Web ads on its site. Wireless carriers that host the Cellfire application, includ­ing Verizon, Alltell and Boost, will also promote it on their platforms.

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