Supermarkets facing competition as grocery leader
FORT LEE, N.J. — Supermarkets are facing increased competition from dollar stores, according to a new survey from Perception Research Services International.
Supermarkets continue to be the primary channel where consumers purchase groceries but are continuing to face challenges from other retail formats. PRS’ survey results indicate that supermarkets are still where most shoppers (91%) have purchased groceries in the past three months (in line with last year’s 92%), and mass merchandisers are still their largest competitive threat (73% purchase groceries there – down from 76% in 2011). But this year’s data shows that dollar stores are gaining momentum as the percentage of shoppers who purchase groceries at Dollar Stores has increased, from 32% in 2011 to 35% in 2012. Alternatively, levels at drug and convenience are holding steady relative to last year (46%/47% and 23%/ 24% respectively).
While consumers purchase beverages and food generally at the same rate across mass merchandisers and dollar stores, cleaning supplies and personal care items are purchased more often at dollar stores. In addition to these items, shelf stable products at dollar stores are most competitive with mass merchandisers.
This survey also revealed that shoppers prefer supermarkets for selection, mass merchandisers and dollar stores for price and drug and convenience stores for price.
During 2012, more shoppers utilized sales/coupons (83%) and quantity/size control (70%) to save money than in 2011, the survey found. Most importantly, this year significantly more shoppers claimed to have switched brands to curb costs (61% vs, 49%).
"Our latest findings on grocery shopping indicate how very discerning today’s shoppers are – about their venue preferences as well as brand choices," said Jonathan Asher, EVP at PRS. "Retailers must understand their competitive strengths and capitalize on them, while also making the necessary adjustments to their offerings to seize opportunities for a larger slice of the pie as shoppers are more open to new shopping possibilities than they have been since the 1950’s with the advent of large, supermarket chains."
This online study was conducted among over 1,500 shoppers, aged 18 and over, during June, 2012.
Shopping guide to made-in-USA products released
LOS ANGELES — With the holiday shopping season approaching, one group has released a guide to goods produced domestically.
The Made in USA Foundation announced the latest edition of the "All-American Holiday Gift Guide," which shows readers how to buy American-made Christmas and Hannukah gifts, ornaments and cards, with sections on toys, jewelry, games and other items for men, women and children. Co-published with Made in USA Certified, the 115-page guide also includes food-related items, such as chocolates, blenders and stoves.
"Companies are coming back to the United States," Made in USA Foundation chairman Joel Joseph said. "Consumers are demanding American-made products, and U.S. companies are more competitive than ever in making high-quality consumer goods."
The guide is available on the foundation’s website and Amazon.com for $9.95 as a paperback or $2.99 as an electronic book.
Stop & Shop store to feature new technologies
QUINCY, Mass. — Stop & Shop is opening a new store that will include new features that emphasize customer experience, the company said.
Stop & Shop, a division of the U.S. subsidiary of Dutch supermarket operator Ahold, said the Wayland, Mass., store would include nine complementary electric car charging stations, as well as numerous energy-efficient features. The store’s grand opening is scheduled for Nov. 16.
The store will also include natural and organic foods, the chain’s Healthy Ideas shelf tags and special tags for gluten-free foods. Features designed for customer convenience will include "Scan It!" mobile shopping to allow customers to scan, tally and receive personal savings while they shop using smartphones; an "Order It!" kiosk at the deli that allows customers to order items and then pick them up at their convenience; "Weigh It!" scales that interface with Scan It!; "Check It!" self-scan registers; and alerts that customers can receive on their phones.