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Do Sales Matter? Evidence from UK Food Retailing

Author

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  • Lloyd, Tim A.
  • Morgan, C. Wyn
  • McCorriston, Steve
  • Zgovu, Evious

Abstract

This paper assesses the role of sales as a feature of price dynamics using scanner data. The study analyses a unique, high frequency panel of supermarket prices consisting of over 230,000 weekly price observations on around 500 products in 15 categories of food stocked by the UK’s seven largest retail chains. In all, 1,700 weekly time series are available at the barcode-specific level including branded and own-label products. The data allows the frequency, magnitude and duration of sales to be analysed in greater detail than has hitherto been possible with UK data. The main results are: (i) sales are a key feature of aggregate price variation with around 40 per cent of price variation being accounted for by sales once price differences for each UPC level across the major retailers are accounted for; (ii) much of the price variation that is observed in the UK food retailing sector is accounted for by price differences between retailers; (iii) only a small proportion of price variation that is observed in UK food retailing is common across the major retailers suggesting that cost shocks originating at the manufacturing level is not one of the main sources of price variation in the UK; (iv) own-label products also exhibit considerable sales behaviour though this is less important than sales for branded goods; and (v) there is some evidence of coordination in the timing of sales across retailers insofar as the probability of a sale at the UPC level at a given retailer increases if the product is also on sale at another retailer.

Suggested Citation

  • Lloyd, Tim A. & Morgan, C. Wyn & McCorriston, Steve & Zgovu, Evious, 2011. "Do Sales Matter? Evidence from UK Food Retailing," 85th Annual Conference, April 18-20, 2011, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 108774, Agricultural Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aesc11:108774
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/108774
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Emmanuel Dhyne & Luis J. Alvarez & Herve Le Bihan & Giovanni Veronese & Daniel Dias & Johannes Hoffmann & Nicole Jonker & Patrick Lunnemann & Fabio Rumler & Jouko Vilmunen, 2006. "Price Changes in the Euro Area and the United States: Some Facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 171-192, Spring.
    4. Victor Aguirregabiria, 1999. "The Dynamics of Markups and Inventories in Retailing Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 275-308.
    5. Berck, Peter & Brown, Jennifer & Perloff, Jeffrey M. & Villas-Boas, Sofia Berto, 2008. "Sales: Tests of theories on causality and timing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1257-1273, November.
    6. Emi Nakamura, 2008. "Pass-Through in Retail and Wholesale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 430-437, May.
    7. Berck, Peter & Brown, Jennifer & Perloff, Jeffrey M. & Villas-Boas, Sofia Berto, 2008. "Sales: Tests of theories on causality and timing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1257-1273, November.
    8. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464.
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    Cited by:

    1. Iqbal A. Syed, 2015. "Sales Spotter: An Algorithm to Identify Sale Prices in Point-of-Sale Data," Discussion Papers 2015-13, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sales; price variation; retail; Consumer/Household Economics; Demand and Price Analysis; L16; L66; Q13.;

    JEL classification:

    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
    • L66 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Food; Beverages; Cosmetics; Tobacco

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