In response to pressure to defend their stand sales against discounters, grocery retailers started engaging in retailer-themed super saver events: promotional events (1) specific to the retailer, in which they (2) mass advertise (3) unusually deep, immediate deals (4) across a broad range of categories (5) under a common savings theme and deal format. Given these characteristics, such events are expected to generate higher awareness and interest than typical day-to-day promotions, thereby enhancing visits and purchases during the event but also reducing them before and after. The authors evaluate these effects by analyzing 44 retailer-themed super saver events operated by the largest Dutch grocery retailers over four years. They find a substantial increase in visits and total purchases during the event, especially among nonprimary customers and hard-discount shoppers. The larger part of this lift stems from the use of an overarching event theme. Consumers buy less in anticipation of the event and visit the store more often afterward, but for smaller baskets—typically leading to a null effect in terms of profit. Finally, our results suggest that rather than the deal depth or advertising budget, the number of items and media resonance of the theme are key drivers of event success.
- grocery retailing
- savings events