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FIRST ANNUAL NATIONWIDE ARENA SURVEY OF SHOPPERS RESULTS ARE IN RETAILERS COMING UP SHORT ON WHAT SHOPPERS CARE ABOUT MOST -- TIME!

 SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Arena Systems announced today the results of its first annual nationwide survey on shopper attitudes and experiences, the Arena Survey of Shoppers(TM). The surprising findings reveal that retailers are satisfying shoppers most in areas that shoppers rate as least important, such as the friendliness of employees and the roominess of the store, and falling far short of shopper demands in areas that shoppers identify as most important, primarily in the area of time, including check-out time and the time it takes to pay with a credit card or check.
 Based on 920 face-to-face interviews in 41 states, the survey was conducted during the 1992 peak holiday shopping period, by the respected market research firm of Joe Peritz & Associates Inc., Litchfield, Conn. The Arena Survey of Shoppers is believed to be the most comprehensive survey of shopper attitudes and experiences ever commissioned.
 According to the Arena Survey of Shoppers, retailers are satisfying shoppers in areas that shoppers view as least important, including: "being able to get help when you need it," "how clearly prices were marked on items," "the way the store seems to make use of modern technology," "the care employees took in handling your items at the check-out," "friendliness of theeas they rated as the most important, namely, "the amount of time it took to check-out/pay for what you bought," "total amount of time you needed to get the things you wanted," "amount of time it took to pay with a credit card," "having enough check-out lanes or registers open," "the amount of time it took to pay with a check," and "the prices of items."
 On average, stores do appear to be delivering on two of the most important shopping experience dimensions: treatment and atmosphere. However, stores are achieving low satisfaction scores in some areas of relatively high importance -- the chief trouble spots having to do with time.
 It is interesting to note that neither of the two dimensions of price that were measured scored as highly in importance as retailers might have expected. The displays in stores that offer special prices or items ranked seventh in importance, and the prices of items, per se, ranked 13th. While this may come as a surprise to some retailers, the survey indicates that time appears to be the major factor that shapes reactions to shopping experiences. What is suggested by this data is that even if retailers do compete effectively on price, the shopping experience at their stores may still fall short.
 Other surprising shopper feelings uncovered by the study include: (1) 31 percent of shoppers reported that they would "take any reasonable alternative" to shopping at the store where they had just shopped; (2) 57 percent reported that "If I had a bad experience at a store I will never go back there, period;" and (3) 21 percent reported that "If I could, I would do all my shopping through mail order or over the phone." This kind of data suggests that retail faces strong challenges from mail order and phone sales, softness of shopper loyalty and the necessity for constantly attracting new customers.
 "The results of our survey clearly demonstrate a national trend away from caveat emptor -- let the buyer beware -- toward emptor rex -- the buyer is king," remarked Nick Donatiello, president & chief executive officer of Arena Systems. "Like it or not, shoppers will determine the fate of the retail industry, so understanding shopper attitudes and how they translate into behaviors, is what will ultimately enable certain retailers to survive. We commissioned this survey because Arena wants to understand shoppers better than anybody else, and use that understanding to help us make our software a strategic asset to our customers."
 According to Joe Peritz of Peritz & Associates, "At the risk of oversimplifying a little, the typical shopper in our study is saying something like this, 'I am a busy and demanding person. I want a wide selection and I want to walk out with the best things I can afford. But time is valuable to me. When I go into a store, I have a job to do. Your job is to help me do my job. If you let me down, I have a lot of choices. I'll shop somewhere else.'"
 The Arena Survey of Shoppers Report is available at no charge to qualified retail executives. To request a copy, please contact Arena by phone at 800-742-3556 or by fax, 415-397-6618.
 NOTE: Arena Systems, L.P., privately held, is the leading supplier of flexible retail software for NCR UNIX and DOS systems, and the sponsor of the Arena Survey of Shoppers. For more information, contact Arena at corporate headquarters, 50 Osgood Pl., San Francisco, CA 94133. Phone: 800-742-3556 or Fax: 415-397-6618. Arena and the Arena Survey of Shoppers are trademarks of Arena Systems.
 -0- 1/25/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Graph available upon request. Copies of the first annual Arena Survey of Shoppers report, actual respondent comments, additional graphs and interviews with Donatiello or Peritz are available upon request. Select use of the data may be published or broadcast with attribution to the Arena Survey of Shoppers, Arena Systems, San Francisco/
 /CONTACT: Nick Donatiello, president & chief executive officer of Arena Systems, 415-39n%YYi2; or Maxine Bingham, president of Agora Marketing, 408-496-6744, for Arena Systems/


CO: Arena Systems L.P ST: California IN: REA SU:

RK-SG -- SJ003 -- 8221 01/25/93 07:34 EST
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