Consumers Save More Outside Grocery Channel

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Aug 14, 2002
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Although the majority of consumers conduct their primary shopping at supermarkets, they expect to save more money and receive better value when shopping at warehouse club stores and supercenters, according to a consumer poll by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and SupermarketGuru.com. The survey shows that shoppers realize they often spend more than they planned by making impulsive purchases at warehouse clubs.

Philip Lempert, an expert analyst on consumer and marketing trends, says the results of his SupermarketGuru.com consumer panel suggest that although shoppers believe they can obtain a better deal at a warehouse club store, it is not translating into a vast consumer movement into the warehouse club store. Nonetheless, as consumer shopping habits change, the warehouse club trip may become a more routine part of consumers’ shopping places in the future.

“Consumers are shopping differently in 2002 than in the past. They are willing to shop in more types of stores and are willing to take the time to seek out value. Supermarket operators cannot assume a weekly stock-up market basket from every shopper as they did years ago,” says FMI Director of Research Janice Jones. According to the poll, only 39 percent of shoppers say they do a stock up trip at least every week. The majority of shoppers (60 percent) are making fill-in trips of 10 or fewer items at least weekly.

Moderator Comment: Do you agree with Phil Lempert “that supermarkets are missing an opportunity to capture more consumer dollars by delivering and communicating a greater selection and value to their shoppers?”

Based on this release, it appears as though consumers
want supermarkets to carry a greater selection of products while lowering prices
at the same time. If most stores combined these elements you would see a lot
more “going out of business” signs. [George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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