business news in context, analysis with attitude

In this month’s “Facts, Figures and the Future,” from the Food Marketing Institute, ACNielsen and “SupermarketGuru” Phil Lempert:

  • Dollar Stores: It seems like the only thorn in the side of Wal-Mart is called the Dollar Store channel. Store growth within the Dollar Store channel is unsurpassed by any other retail channel and retailers within the Dollar Store channel are moving from their rural and small town American roots into both urban and suburban America. Since 2000, the three major players in the channel (Dollar General, Family Dollar, and Dollar Tree) have added over 2,600 stores.

    In terms of threats that retailers in this channel face, a number of traditional retailers have started to include "Dollar Store sections" or "Dollar Store merchandising activities" to capture some of the sales that have been going to this channel. Wal-Mart recently announced that they are testing a dollar-only section in a few of their stores and they haven't ruled out the idea of creating their own free-standing Dollar Store format.

  • The Real Value of frequent Shopper Programs: According to ACNielsen's 7th Annual Frequent Shopper Survey Update, 81 % of all U.S. households currently participate in at least one Supermarket Frequent Shopper Program - more than doubling since 1996.

    However, when asked to describe the "value" of the Frequent Shopper Program used most often, 69% of all members answered "very valuable" or "valuable." The survey also showed that 68% of all cardholders have more than one. This suggests that store loyalty does not play a major role in consumers' decisions to join or make use of Frequent Shopper Programs. It is the benefits received (usually paperless at register discounts) that have the customer's heart.

In addition, “Facts, Figures and the Future” looks at key economic indicators that retailers need to be aware of, the global categories that are making an impact, the importance of beer sales, and other critical information that can make the difference between being profitable and unprofitable, between being distinctive and irrelevant.
KC's View:
To see the current edition of “Facts, Figures and the Future,” click on the F3 icon on the right hand side of the MNB home page.