Journal of Marketing Research vol:50 issue:5 pages:606-626
“Hard-discounters” have become a considerable force within grocery retailing. With rock-bottom prices and minimal assortments, they strongly differ from “large-discounters” like Wal-Mart, and constitute complements rather than substitutes for more traditional supermarkets. Hence, we propose that their impact-of-entry on local incumbents is very different as well. Using a store choice and spending model that explicitly accounts for inter-store synergies and “multiple-store shopping” behavior, we study consumer responses to 194 hard-discounter openings. While we find that hard-discounters, like large-discounters, especially appeal to private label-prone shoppers and lead to sizable incumbent losses, the results confirm that the nature of these losses is strikingly different. First, hard-discounters do not make incumbent chains lose their best customers but, rather, shoppers who already visited other chains alongside the incumbent. Second, we find that chains located in close proximity of new hard-discounters do not suffer more from their entry. Third, losses are lower for upscale chains and incumbents that strongly complement the hard-discounter. Implications for proper response to hard-discounter entry are discussed.