by Ruth N. Bolton and Venkatesh Shankar
This article was published in the Journal of Retailing, 79 (2003), 213-224.
Most research categorizes grocery retailers as following either an EDLP or a HiLo pricing strategy at a store or chain level, whereas this paper studies retailer pricing and promotions at a brand-store level. It empirically examines 1,364 brand-store combinations from 17 chains, 212 stores and six categories of consumer package goods in five U.S. markets. Retailer pricing and promotion strategies are found to be based on combinations of four underlying dimensions: relative price, price variation, deal intensity and deal support. At the brand-store level, retailers practice five pricing strategies, labeled exclusive, moderately promotional, HiLo, EDLP, and aggressive pricing. Surprisingly, the most prevalent pricing strategy is characterized by average relative brand price, low price variation, medium deal intensity, and medium deal support. The findings provide some initial benchmarks and suggest that retailers should closely monitor their competitors’ price decisions at the brand level.