Investigating the Effects of Store-Brand Introduction on Retailer Demand and Pricing Behavior
Researchers have recently been interested in studying the drivers of store-brand success as well as factors that motivate retailers to introduce store brands. In this paper, we study the effects of the introduction of a store-brand into a particular product category. Specifically, we are interested in the effect of store-brand introduction on the demand as well as on the supply side. On the demand side, we investigate the changes in preferences for the national brands and price elasticities in the category. On the supply side, we study the effects of the new entrant on the interactions between the national brand manufacturers and the retailer introducing the store brand, including how these interactions influence the retailer's pricing behavior. In doing so, we are also able to test whether the observed data are consistent with some of the commonly used assumptions regarding retailer pricing behavior. For the demand specification we use a random coefficients logit model that allows for consumer heterogeneity. The model parameters are estimated using aggregate data while explicitly accounting for endogeneity in retail prices. Our empirical results obtained from the oats product category based on store-level data from a multistore retail chain indicate that the store-brand introduction generates notable changes within the category. The store-brand introduction coincides with an increase in the retailer's margins for the national brand. We find that the preferences for the national brand are relatively unaffected by the introduction of the store-brand. While consumers are, in general, more price sensitive (in terms of elasticities) than they were prior to store-brand introduction, a statistical test of the differences in mean price elasticities across stores and between the two regimes fails to reject the hypothesis of no change in these elasticities. Elasticities in specific stores however, do increase after the store brand is introduced. We also find that there is considerable heterogeneity in the preferences for the store-brand. On the supply side, we test several forms of manufacturer-retailer interactions to identify retailer pricing behavior most consistent with the data. Our results indicate that the data reject several, commonly imposed, forms of interactions. In examining the nature of manufacturer interactions with the retailer, we find that the manufacturer of the national brand appears to take a softer stance in its interactions with the retailer subsequent to store-brand entry. This finding is consistent with academic research and with articles in the popular press which suggest that the store brand enhances the retailer's bargaining ability vis-à-vis the manufacturers of the national brands. We also provide results from a second product category frozen pasta) that are largely consistent with those found in the oats category.
Volume (Year): 48 (2002)
Issue (Month): 10 (October)
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