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Consumers Turn to Non-Grocers for Groceries

EUGENE, Ore. -- Going grocery shopping is not what it used to be. According to a survey by King Retail Solutions (KRS), the retail industry is transforming as shoppers' attitudes toward where they shop for things like groceries, fresh food and services evolve.

The findings indicate 77 percent of respondents across all demographics bought groceries from a non-grocer in 2013. In addition, 96 percent of those surveyed said they'll be buying groceries from places other than grocery stores in 2014, Forbes reported.

When not shopping at grocery stores, consumers are choosing big-box retailers, pharmacies, dollar stores and convenience stores. Specifically the top 10 choices are Target, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Costco, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, 7-Eleven and Kmart.

"It can't all be about one-stop shop, but if it's a retailer they appreciate, they are going to shop there and if new, non-traditional items are available for sale, they are going to buy those items," said Andrew Swedenborg, KRS executive vice president. "Expanding what you sell is only a part of the equation; delivering a valuable shopping experience is the real challenge."

The survey also found that in the past 12 months, 83 percent of those making more than $150,000 reported having shopped for groceries at a big-box store, convenience store or other such retailer. Seventy-three percent of those making less than $25,000 also looked outside the grocery channel for food in 2013.

The survey was conducted in the fall and included more than 1,200 U.S. Millennial, Generation X and Baby Boomer consumers with an equal mix of male and female shoppers in urban, suburban and rural areas across the country. Consumers were polled on their past shopping habits, current shopping attitudes, decision-making factors and top-preferred retailers, all related to purchasing these types of goods from a non-traditional source.

KRS conducted the survey in conjunction with the University of Arizona's Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing.

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