16 CFR Part 424 Retail Food Store Advertising and Marketing Practices Rule, Project No. P104203
Publix has been running a number of buy one get one free offers and the shelf is generally empty by noon on the starting date. It often takes weeks to re-stock and they set limits to the purchase quantity when they issue a raincheck. For instance, Aug 10-17, 2011, Publix advertised BOGO free on Resolve laundry stain remover (sale price $2.99). That same week they offered a store coupon for $2 off (2) bottles. The 30oz. bottles had peely manufacturer coupons (some $.50 and some $.65). With a combination of the store coupon and mfr coupons consumers achieved the items completely FREE, having only to pay the taxes. There was no purchase limit on the advertised sale, yet they limited the purchase quantity on the raincheck, essentially controlling the number of bottles available at the sale price. The sale continued through the following week (absent the $2 store coupon) and still the items were not available for purchase. The day after the sale ended, the inventory was scarcely available; according to the Grocery Manager of one store, only (1) case would be issued per store per delivery. Mind you, the case quantity of 30oz bottles of Resolve is (12). Clearly this is not a "reasonable" quantity made available for purchase. Especially when rainchecks were issued the previous two weeks. We experienced the same when Publix advertised BOGO free on Soft Scrub two weeks prior to the Resolve promotion.