IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Who Is Hurt by E-Commerce? Crowding out and Business Stealing in Online Grocery


  • Andrea Pozzi



I study the impact of e-commerce on competition in retail markets. Using scanner data from a large chain that markets grocery online and through traditional stores, I illustrate that selling online reduces the barrier of geographic differentiation and allows stealing business from competitors. Between 60% and 70% of the sales made online by the chain are stolen from other grocers, the rest coming from self cannibalization. I show that small stores are suffering the largest losses from this reallocation of market shares, as they were more heavily relying on geographic differentiation to survive the competitive pressure of big-box stores.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Pozzi, 2011. "Who Is Hurt by E-Commerce? Crowding out and Business Stealing in Online Grocery," EIEF Working Papers Series 1114, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Sep 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:eie:wpaper:1114

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sinai, Todd & Waldfogel, Joel, 2004. "Geography and the Internet: is the Internet a substitute or a complement for cities?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 1-24, July.
    2. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Valuing New Goods in a Model with Complementarities: Online Newspapers," NBER Working Papers 12562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Holmes, Thomas J, 2001. "Bar Codes Lead to Frequent Deliveries and Superstores," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 708-725, Winter.
    4. Toivanen, Otto & Waterson, Michael, 2011. "Retail Chain Expansion: The Early Years of McDonalds in Great Britain," CEPR Discussion Papers 8534, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Fabiano Schivardi & Eliana Viviano, 2011. "Entry Barriers in Retail Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 145-170, March.
    6. Haltiwanger, John & Jarmin, Ron & Krizan, C.J., 2010. "Mom-and-Pop meet Big-Box: Complements or substitutes?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 116-134, January.
    7. Chris Forman & Anindya Ghose & Avi Goldfarb, 2009. "Competition Between Local and Electronic Markets: How the Benefit of Buying Online Depends on Where You Live," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(1), pages 47-57, January.
    8. Ellickson, Paul, 2005. "Does Sutton Apply to Supermarkets?," Working Papers 05-05, Duke University, Department of Economics.
    9. Jeffrey R. Brown & Austan Goolsbee, 2002. "Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive? Evidence from the Life Insurance Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 481-507, June.
    10. Liran Einav & Ephraim Leibtag & Aviv Nevo, 2010. "Recording discrepancies in Nielsen Homescan data: Are they present and do they matter?," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 207-239, June.
    11. Goldfarb, Avi & Prince, Jeff, 2008. "Internet adoption and usage patterns are different: Implications for the digital divide," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 2-15, March.
    12. Andrea Pozzi, 2012. "Shopping Cost and Brand Exploration in Online Grocery," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 96-120, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eie:wpaper:1114. 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: (Facundo Piguillem). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.