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How Retailers Determine Which Products Should Go on Sale: Evidence From Store-Level Data

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  • Daniel Hosken

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  • David Reiffen

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Abstract

Recent theoretical research on retail pricing dynamics provides an explanation of why retailers periodically put items on sale, even when their costs are unchanged. The authors extend this research to show that more popular items (i.e., those that appeal to a wide range of consumers) are more likely to go on sale. One implication of the proposed model is that a good is more likely to be on sale when demand for the good is at its season peak (e.g., eggs at Easter). This implication is tested using store-level retail price data, and the prediction is borne out for the categories of goods that are examined. Additional tests also support the premise that popularity and frequency of sales are positively related. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Hosken & David Reiffen, 2004. "How Retailers Determine Which Products Should Go on Sale: Evidence From Store-Level Data," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 141-177, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jcopol:v:27:y:2004:i:2:p:141-177
    DOI: 10.1023/B:COPO.0000028171.70221.f3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bliss, Christopher, 1988. "A Theory of Retail Pricing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(4), pages 375-391, June.
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    6. Elizabeth J. Warner & Robert B. Barsky, 1995. "The Timing and Magnitude of Retail Store Markdowns: Evidence from Weekends and Holidays," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 321-352.
    7. Martin Pesendorfer, 2002. "Retail Sales: A Study of Pricing Behavior in Supermarkets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(1), pages 33-66, January.
    8. Banks, Jeffrey & Moorthy, Sridhar, 1999. "A model of price promotions with consumer search," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 371-398, April.
    9. Lal, Rajiv & Matutes, Carmen, 1994. "Retail Pricing and Advertising Strategies," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67(3), pages 345-370, July.
    10. Judith A. Chevalier & Anil K. Kashyap & Peter E. Rossi, 2003. "Why Don't Prices Rise During Periods of Peak Demand? Evidence from Scanner Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 15-37, March.
    11. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-338, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. P. J. Glandon & Matthew Jaremski, 2014. "Sales and Firm Entry: The Case of Wal-Mart," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 168-192, July.
    2. Lahmandi-Ayed, Rim, 2010. "Spatial differentiation, divisible consumption and the pro-competitive effect of income," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 71-85, January.
    3. Hamister, James W. & Suresh, Nallan C., 2008. "The impact of pricing policy on sales variability in a supermarket retail context," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 441-455, February.
    4. Hoffman, Angela & Senkler, Heike, 2011. "Interformat price competition of multi-product retailers: Evidence for German grocery retailing," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114533, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Hosken, Daniel S. & McMillan, Robert S. & Taylor, Christopher T., 2008. "Retail gasoline pricing: What do we know?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1425-1436, November.
    6. Fox, Kevin J. & Syed, Iqbal A., 2016. "Price discounts and the measurement of inflation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 191(2), pages 398-406.
    7. repec:eee:jouret:v:84:y:2008:i:4:p:449-460 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Alexander L. Wolman, 2007. "The frequency and costs of individual price adjustment," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(6), pages 531-552.
    9. Kevin J, Fox. & Iqbal A. Syed, 2016. "Price Discounts and the Measurement of Inflation: Further Results," Discussion Papers 2016-05, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    10. MartI´n-Herrán, Guiomar & Sigué, Simon P., 2011. "Prices, promotions, and channel profitability: Was the conventional wisdom mistaken?," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 211(2), pages 415-425, June.
    11. Fertő, Imre & Bakucs, Lajos Zoltán, 2009. "Árleszállítások és a kiskereskedelmi árak változása a tejtermékek piacán
      [Sales and retail price patterns on the market for milk products]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(7), pages 634-647.

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