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ACNielsen Study: Supercenters and Dollar Stores Winning Grocery Customers

PHOENIX, Ariz. - Consumers are continuing to scale back their trips to the grocery store, opting instead for supercenters, dollar stores, and warehouse club stores, according to the latest "Channel Blurring" study from ACNielsen U.S., an operating unit of ACNielsen, a VNU company.

The study shows that since 1999, consumer visits per year to supermarkets are down 12 percent, while visits to supercenters are up 40 percent. In addition, supercenters are getting $12 more per basket than traditional grocers, according to Todd Hale, senior VP, consumer insights, at ACNielsen.

The findings, based on an analysis of data from the ACNielsen Homescan consumer panel, were released today during the inaugural Consumer 360 Conference, hosted by ACNielsen U.S. and Spectra Marketing.

"New store openings are helping fuel the growth of supercenters, dollar stores, and warehouse club stores. These channels are competing vigorously with the grocery channel, which enjoys 100 percent household penetration," said Hale. "In order to defend their turf, grocery retailers need to make sure that their fresh departments are the best in town. Let's face it, today you can get pain relievers at office supply stores and snacks at video rental stores, but not everyone can do a great job with fresh produce."

The study found that supercenters and dollar stores made gains in both the percentage of households who shop in those channels and the number of shopping trips consumers made to them last year. Warehouse club stores grew their shopper base while holding steady in shopping frequency; drug stores stayed even on both measures; convenience stores notched up in household penetration but slipped in trip frequency; and traditional mass merchandisers continued their multi-year slide in both household penetration and trip frequency.
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