Walmart found to be the least-expensive one-stop retailer for lower-income Northeast U.S. consumers in Kantar Retail study; Walgreens found to have most-expensive total basket, driven mostly by sharply higher edible grocery prices

BOSTON , October 5, 2011 () – With shoppers increasingly stretching budgets to purchase everyday needs, retailers are asserting their value messaging and emphasizing low prices. However, lower-income shoppers' ability to take advantage of such assertions is limited, and some retailers' strategies have not helped shoppers who are unable to pay the often higher price points associated with bulk or volume purchasing. A recent study conducted by Kantar Retail examines how retailers are meeting the needs of lower-income shoppers and enabling the shopper to meet basket requirements at the opening price point (OPP) level.

In this study, Kantar Retail selected twenty categories across the edible grocery, non-edible grocery, and HBA segments at six retailers located within a five-mile radius of each other in the Northeast U.S. For each retailer, Kantar Retail assessed the lowest price point available to the shopper in that category (excluding trial sizes) so that the shopper could minimally meet her purchase requirement.

"Our study confirms that Walmart is the least expensive one-stop shop for the cash-strapped shopper," comments Leon Nicholas, Senior Vice President with Kantar Retail and contributor to the study. "Importantly, Walmart achieved this distinction without the use of any rollbacks," he continued. "Clearly, the retailer's effort to bolster its value positioning through smaller sizes and an increasing number of value-positioned SKUs is paying off," he added. While Walmart may have featured larger sizes with a favorable price/volume ratio in the past, the retailer can now lay claim to saving the shopper money on an absolute basis in a single stop.

Driven by featured price reductions across segments, Stop & Shop offered the second cheapest overall basket with the lowest basket in non-edible grocery. The study also found that Walgreens had the most expensive total basket, driven by sharply higher edible grocery basket OPPs.

"It is critical that suppliers align with retailers' efforts to provide low entry-level price points to draw in the price-conscious shopper," Nicholas concludes. "Whether through small pack sizes, temporary price cuts, or private labels, retailers are keen to compete at this level and savvy suppliers will partner in these efforts, making up margin losses elsewhere on the category pricing ladder."

About Kantar Retail

Kantar Retail (www.kantarretail.com) is the world's leading retail insights and consulting business. The company works with leading retailers and branded manufacturers to transform the purchase behavior of consumers, shoppers and retailers. Kantar Retail has over 400 employees and offices in 15 markets around the globe. The company is headquartered in London and is part of the Kantar Group of WPP.

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