IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

An Empirical Analysis of Assortment Similarities Across U.S. Supermarkets

  • Minha Hwang


    (UCLA Anderson School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095)

  • Bart J. Bronnenberg


    (CentER, Tilburg School of Economics and Management, Tilburg University, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands)

  • Raphael Thomadsen


    (UCLA Anderson School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095)

Registered author(s):

    This paper examines pairwise assortment similarities at U.S. supermarkets to understand how assortment composition and size are related to underlying factors that describe local store clientele, local competitive structure, and the retail outlets' characteristics. The top-selling items, which cumulatively make up 50% of sales, are sold at nearly every store, but other items are viewed as optional. We find that, within states, supermarkets owned by the same chain carry similar assortments and that the composition of their clientele and the presence of competing stores have effects on assortment similarity that are an order of magnitude smaller than ownership structure. In contrast, we find that, across states, supermarkets owned by the same chain do version their assortment. We explain this difference using extant work on the minimal efficient scale of supermarkets and on local demand effects. Furthermore, we investigate the distribution and role of regional brands. We find that regional brands are primarily distributed by small regional chains or independent stores. "Value" regional brands are primarily distributed by supermarket firms without store brands, whereas the distribution of "premium" regional brands is unrelated to the presence of store brands. We discuss our findings in the context of modeling assortment decisions and manufacturers designing distribution policies.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Marketing Science.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 5 (09-10)
    Pages: 858-879

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:29:y:2010:i:5:p:858-879
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA

    Phone: +1-443-757-3500
    Fax: 443-757-3515
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:29:y:2010:i:5:p:858-879. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.