Consumers Increasingly Make Grocery Purchases at Dollar, Club Stores

A new report from SymphonyIRI indicates that consumers continue to worry about the economy and their personal financial situations and – hoping to find the best value for their money – are making more food and beverage purchases at dollar and club stores.

Titled “Channel Migration: Charting a Course on the Voyage for Value,” the report analyzed consumers’ conservative spending habits and how they have affected shifting dynamics within the consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketplace. The report also examines risks and opportunities for CPG manufacturers and retailers.

“Even though the recession has long since softened, the economy is far from stable, so consumers are holding onto the frugal behaviors they adopted earlier in the downturn,” said Susan Viamari, the editor of Times & Trends, SymphonyIRI. “Shoppers’ ongoing quest for low-cost CPG solutions is evidenced in share gains by supercenter and dollar store channels, which are both successfully acquiring shoppers from across competing retail channels.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • Two out of three U.S. consumers shopped at a dollar store over the past year, and consumers are making more frequent trips to dollar and club stores.
  • Heavy drug store shoppers, which represent the top one-third of spenders within the channel, are shifting CPG purchases to the dollar channel.
  • The grocery channel continues to lose dollar share of grocery purchases to drug, dollar and club channels. Grocery now captures a 47.9 percent dollar share of grocery purchases, a decrease of 0.3 percent versus 2011.
  • Family Dollar is adding cooler space to more than 1,000 of its locations in 2012, while Dollar Tree is increasing its selection of foods and beverages.