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Private Label Price Rigidity during Holiday Periods

  • Georg Mueller
  • Mark Bergen
  • Shantanu Dutta
  • Daniel Levy

Using weekly retail transaction scanner price data from a large U.S. supermarket chain, we find significantly higher retail price rigidity for private label products than for nationally branded products during the Christmas and Thanksgiving holiday periods relative to the rest of the year. The finding cannot be explained by changes in holiday period promotional practices because we find that private label promotions appear to diminish at least as much as national brands. The increased rigidity of private label products relative to national brands is only partially accounted for by increased rigidity of wholesale prices. After ruling out other potential explanations, we suggest that the higher private label price rigidity might be due to the increased emphasis on social consumption during holiday periods, raising the customers' value of nationally branded products relative to the private labels.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta) in its series Emory Economics with number 0512.

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Date of creation: Mar 2005
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Handle: RePEc:emo:wp2003:0512
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  1. Ball, Laurence & Romer, David, 2003. " Inflation and the Informativeness of Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(2), pages 177-96, April.
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