The Effect of Wal-Mart Supercenters on Grocery Prices in New England
AbstractThis study examines the competitive price effect of Wal-Mart Supercenters on national brand and private label grocery prices in New England. For this purpose, we use primary price data collected on a basket of identical products from six Supercenters in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island as well as a sample of conventional supermarkets. Taking into account demographics, store characteristics, and market conditions, we estimate the average prices charged by (1) Supercenters, (2) supermarkets competing directly with Supercenters, and by (3) supermarkets geographically distant from Supercenters. By comparing prices at competing stores and at distant stores, we show that the effect of Wal-Mart Supercenters is to decrease prices by 6 to 7 percent for national brand goods and 3 to 7 percent for private label goods. Price decreases are most significant in the dry grocery and dairy departments. Moreover, Wal-Mart sets prices significantly lower than its competitors in the food industry.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2006-8.
Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Wal-Mart; Supermarket Competition; Grocery Prices; National Brands; Private Labels;
Other versions of this item:
- Richard J. Volpe & Nathalie Lavoie, 2008. "The Effect of Wal-Mart Supercenters on Grocery Prices in New England," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 30(1), pages 4-26.
- D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
- D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
- L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
- L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
- L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2006-11-18 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2006-11-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-COM-2006-11-18 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-MIC-2006-11-18 (Microeconomics)
- NEP-MKT-2006-11-18 (Marketing)
- NEP-URE-2006-11-18 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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