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Channel surfers.

Do you really know who's shopping your store? Do you know who's shopping your competition? In today's increasingly complex competitive environment, it's more critical than ever to have a firm grasp on your customer base and that of your competitors.

Data from Nielsen's Homescan Service panel of 40,000 households provide this kind of detailed profile of shoppers. This information can help retailers and suppliers market more effectively and create successful category management strategies, among other things. Consider the following:

* While every household visits a supermarket during the year, supermarketers hardly have a monopoly on their customers.

* Although the supermarket channel has a huge advantage in terms of frequency, it comes in sixth in dollars spent per shopping trip.

* Single-channel buyers represent the minority of buyers in several critical categories, such as paper products, detergent and cookies.

* Holding onto heavy-channel shoppers is critical to maintaining profitability for any channel. For example, Nielsen' research shows that 33% of grocery shoppers account for 56% of that channel's dollars; 31% of convenience store shoppers account for 89% of that channel's dollars; 33% of drugstore shoppers make up more than three-quarters of dollars; one-third of mass merchant customers account for 81% of dollars; and 34% of warehouse club shoppers account for 69% of that channel's dollars.

The charts contained in this article provide a close-up look at today's channel surfers.

Shoppers take advantage of the wide variety of outlets available, and virtually every household shops at a grocery store at some time during the year. Mass merchandisers, discount stores and drugstore have the next highest penetration among shoppers.

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Given the fact that all consumers shop supermarkets at some time, it's not surprising that grocery is the hands-down winner in terms of annual occasions per household. However, the dollars are not distributed comparably. On per-trip basis, consumers spend the most amount of money in warehouse clubs--an average of $59.47. But supermarkets still pull in the highest amount on a total per-year basis.

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Grocery is no longer the only game in town when it comes to many product categories. single-channel buyers represent the minority of buyers for categories such as oral hygiene, paper products, detergents and even cookies. And they are by no means necessarily the biggest spenders. In the case of these categories, dual- and multi-channel buyers, in fact, spend more than exclusive-channel buyers.

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In the case of the detergent and coffee categories, grocery-only or grocery/mass buyers dominate the buyer base, but the heaviest category spenders are actually multi-channel buyers.

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COPYRIGHT 1996 Stagnito Media
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Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:consumer data from A.C. Nielsen Co.'s Homescan Service
Publication:Progressive Grocer
Date:Jun 1, 1996
Words:425
Previous Article:Partnerships and progress.
Next Article:Diversity in action.
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