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The battle of traditional retailers versus discounters: The role of PL tiers

Hökelekli, Gizem, Lien Lamey and Frank Verboven

Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 2017, vol. 39, issue C, 11-22

Abstract: For grocery retailers in Europe, intense competition from hard discount formats like Lidl and Aldi is an established part of the competitive landscape. Due to the highly competitive retail environment, traditional retailers’ private label (PL) tiers are now set to become the new battle ground in this competition. This study analyzes how PL tiers (i.e. economy, standard and premium) affect the competition between discounters and traditional retailers. We use a representative UK household panel dataset (2009–2010) for the ready-to-eat cereal and canned soup category, and estimate a demand model for the choice between national brands (NBs) and PL tiers across the top-7 UK retailers. Using our demand estimates, we conduct several counterfactual experiments that predict consumer responses to different strategies of traditional retailers and discounters in their fight for the consumer. In particular, we compare the effectiveness of three types of PLs offered by traditional retailers to fight discounters: economy PLs versus standard PLs versus premium PLs. We find that premium PLs are not very effective strategies for traditional retailers to fight with discounters. On the other hand, economy PLs manage to steal some market share from discounters, but as a downside they also cannibalize traditional retailers’ standard PLs. Standard PLs seem the most effective tool to fight with discounters, since they steal most market share from discounters (and NBs). From the point of view of the discounters, our results indicate that discounters benefit from a further increase in their NB offerings (assortment depth) as well as from a price cut in their own PLs.

Keywords: Retail competition; Private label tiers; Discounters; Demand analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2017.06.011

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