Keep the change: Smith’s changes change amid national coin shortage
Jul 14, 2020, 9:03 AM
SALT LAKE CITY — You may not have a pocket full of jingling change after a trip to Smith’s thanks to a national coin shortage. Slowing production at the US Mint and the fact that shoppers have turned to more plastic and digital payment options mean there’s a lot less hard currency in circulation.
This coin shortage means that some businesses like Smith’s have had to adapt how they do business. For Smith’s, that means you may not get those quarters, nickels and dimes after your grocery trip.
But Smith’s spokesperson Aubrianna Martindale tells KSL that doesn’t mean that money goes out the window.
The coin shortage and Smith’s strategy
Other brands under the Kroger umbrella have stopped returning coin change to customers, opting to load the difference onto a loyalty card or donate the balance to charity. But Martindale says that coin change will still be a possibility in Utah at registers that have them.
“Customers can switch their payment type (e.g., use debit or credit vs. cash), and through our upgraded technology, we can now load coin change to their loyalty card for use during the next shopping trip, provide coin change at a lane with coins available or round up their order to support The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, a public charity committed to creating communities free of hunger and waste,” she said.
It won’t be a guarantee that those registers will have coins, though. Trudy Theobald, branch manager of the Bank of Utah in Ogden, told KSL TV the Federal Reserve has put a limit on bank requests for coins, which means they, in turn, have a coin shortage when it comes to businesses like Smith’s.
With that uncertainty about cold hard cash, Martindale says that Smith’s customers will still have the freedom and flexibility to choose their payment method.