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An empirical analysis of assortment similarities across U.S. supermarkets

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Listed:
  • Hwang, M.
  • Bronnenberg, B.J.

    (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)

  • Thomadsen, R.

Abstract

This paper examines pairwise assortment similarities at U.S. supermarkets to understand how assortment composition and size are related to underlying factors that describe local store clientele, local competitive structure, and the retail outlets' characteristics. The top-selling items, which cumulatively make up 50% of sales, are sold at nearly every store, but other items are viewed as optional. We find that, within states, supermarkets owned by the same chain carry similar assortments and that the composition of their clientele and the presence of competing stores have effects on assortment similarity that are an order of magnitude smaller than ownership structure. In contrast, we find that, across states, supermarkets owned by the same chain do version their assortment. We explain this difference using extant work on the minimal efficient scale of supermarkets and on local demand effects. Furthermore, we investigate the distribution and role of regional brands. We find that regional brands are primarily distributed by small regional chains or independent stores. “Value” regional brands are primarily distributed by supermarket firms without store brands, whereas the distribution of “premium” regional brands is unrelated to the presence of store brands. We discuss our findings in the context of modeling assortment decisions and manufacturers designing distribution policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Hwang, M. & Bronnenberg, B.J. & Thomadsen, R., 2010. "An empirical analysis of assortment similarities across U.S. supermarkets," Other publications TiSEM adc990b3-1d5b-4fab-8679-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiutis:adc990b3-1d5b-4fab-8679-ab6fca54493d
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Elena Argentesi & Paolo Buccirossi & Roberto Cervone & Tomaso Duso & Alessia Marrazzo, 2018. "Price or Variety? An Evaluation of Mergers Effects in Grocery Retailing," CESifo Working Paper Series 7035, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Kevin J. Fox & Daniel Melser, 2014. "Non-Linear Pricing and Price Indexes: Evidence and Implications from Scanner Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(2), pages 261-278, June.
    3. Takeshi Ebina & Noriaki Matsushima & Katsumasa Nishide, 2017. "Demand uncertainty, product differentiation, and entry timing under spatial competition," ISER Discussion Paper 1007r, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University, revised Jul 2018.
    4. Takeshi Ebina & Noriaki Matsushima, 2017. "Product differentiation and entry timing in a continuous-time spatial competition model with vertical relations," ISER Discussion Paper 1009, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    5. Takeshi Ebina & Noriaki Matsushima & Katsumasa Nishide, 2017. "Demand uncertainty, product differentiation, and entry timing under spatial competition," ISER Discussion Paper 1007, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    6. repec:kap:revind:v:52:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11151-017-9608-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:eee:joreco:v:26:y:2015:i:c:p:125-132 is not listed on IDEAS

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