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BOSTON -- Dollar General once again took the top spot in Kantar Retails' opening price point (OPP) survey. This is the second consecutive year the Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based retailer landed in the No. 1 position.
The OPP survey, now in its third year, determines how select retailers meet the grocery and consumable needs of shoppers looking for the lowest shelf prices to fulfill their basket requirements. According to Kantar Retail, Dollar General's total basket was the least expensive among retailers surveyed, edging out Walmart Supercenter's basket by 12 cents.
The slim margin indicates a substantial closing of the gap in the survey conducted last year, when Dollar General's basket of OPP items was 18 percent cheaper than Walmart's.
This year's survey found the edible grocery and health and beauty aid (HBA) sub-baskets drove Dollar General's basket lead over Walmart. While Walmart's basket came in a close second overall, it recorded the least expensive non-edible sub-basket by a sizable margin, according to Kantar Retail.
On the other side of the spectrum, Target's total OPP basket was the most expensive, registering 48 percent more than Dollar General's basket and 12 percent more than the next highest-priced competitor, Aldi.
"Retailers' use of temporary price cuts did not affect the overall outcome of our survey. For the most part, all the retailers in this study achieved their OPP positions through everyday pricing. Private labels, however, had a more significant impact than in previous iterations of this study, as the retailer with the least expensive sub-basket achieved that standing primarily through private labels in each case," said Leon Nicholas, Kantar Retail senior vice president and contributor to the study.
"It's clear that the low-income shopper has an array of credible options when it comes to selecting outlets that meet her basket requirements. As more retailers try to engage with this shopper, it seems likely that the portfolio of options will grow along with the subsequent competition between retailers. Retailers who are able to provide both actual and perceived price leadership, in part through Opening Price Points, will win wallet share with this large shopper segment," Nicholas added.
In this year's study, Kantar Retail selected 21 categories across the edible grocery, non-edible grocery and HBA segments. In a change from last year, Walgreens was left out of the study due to a lack of opening price point competitiveness in previous years; all other retailers from last year were included. All data was collected in the southern New Hampshire/northern Massachusetts area in October. For each retailer, Kantar Retail assessed the lowest price point available to the shopper in that category.