Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Supermarket Competition through Price Promotions: A Cross Category Analysis

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Richard James Volpe (UC Davis Ag Econ) examines Supermarket Competition through Price Promotions: A Cross Category Analysis.

ABSTRACT: This study takes an important first step at quantifying the nature of competition between major supermarket chains through price promotions. Using data that covers virtually the entire product menus of supermarkets representing two major chains in 18 cities, I examine both the effect of direct competition on promotional intensity and the nature of promotional competition itself. In a counterintuitive finding, there appears to slightly less promotional activity in cities in which both chains compete directly, as compared to cities in which only one chain operates. Moreover, most promotional activity tends to be retaliatory, rather than accommodating, in nature.This study takes an important first step at quantifying the nature of competition between major supermarket chains through price promotions. Using data that covers virtually the entire product menus of supermarkets representing two major chains in 18 cities, I examine both the effect of direct competition on promotional intensity and the nature of promotional competition itself. In a counterintuitive finding, there appears to slightly less promotional activity in cities in which both chains compete directly, as compared to cities in which only one chain operates. Moreover, most promotional activity tends to be retaliatory, rather than accommodating, in nature.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/antitrustprof_blog/2009/05/supermarket-competition-through-price-promotions-a-cross-category-analysis.html

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