Study Cites Discounter Growth

NEW YORK A new report by WSL Strategic Retail here showed that dollar stores and limited-assortment food stores could pose a threat to Wal-Mart Stores as they expand. In a recent three-month period, deep-discount grocery stores like Aldi and Save-A-Lot attracted 15% of lower-income households, according to the How America Shops MegaTrends report for 2010. As these chains expand, Wal-Mart is further

NEW YORK — A new report by WSL Strategic Retail here showed that dollar stores and limited-assortment food stores could pose a threat to Wal-Mart Stores as they expand.

In a recent three-month period, deep-discount grocery stores like Aldi and Save-A-Lot attracted 15% of lower-income households, according to the “How America Shops MegaTrends” report for 2010.

“As these chains expand, Wal-Mart is further threatened,” the report stated.

The report polled 1,532 women about their shopping habits and compared the results with those of a similar 2008 survey.

Traditional supermarkets have “solidified” their position against supercenters during the recession, as women reduced their purchases of take-out food and avoided mass merchandisers to reduce the risk of being tempted by unnecessary purchases, the report stated.

Although only 71% of women said they had shopped in a supermarket in the last three months, compared with 76% in 2008, the decline at mass merchandise stores was even greater — 74% in 2010 vs. 83% in 2008.

The survey also found a trend toward healthier eating — with a 19 percentage-point net gain between those who said they were spending more on fresh produce vs. those who said they were spending less.

Other conclusions from the survey:

  • 53% of women think the recession will last another one to two years, and 43% think it could last longer than that.

  • 40% feel their own personal finances will improve by the end of this year, and 47% feel it will take two or more years. The rest say they were not affected by the recession.

  • 70% of women feel “it is important to get the lowest price on most things I buy,” up 6 percentage points since 2008 and 17 points since 2004.

  • 53% of shoppers will go further to shop in stores where they can save money, down 5 points form 2008, when gas prices were higher, and up 10 points since 2004.