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Kantar Retail is out with a new study about how regional retailers can best compete against Walmart, saying that - based on a case study done in New Hampshire of a Walmart and Market Basket located within a mile of each other - while “Walmart’s grip on price leadership was strong,” Market Basket “effectively carved a relevant value proposition through assortment and signage to fulfill its shopper expectations.”

The study says: “The basket analysis revealed that Walmart was the less expensive option overall, though the regional grocer promoted and beat Walmart on select items, particular within food and private-label offerings. The endcap signage within the grocery department reiterated their respective positions: Walmart’s ‘Rollback’ and ‘Unbeatable’ form a purely price savings message, while Market Basket’s endcap signage centers on a value proposition of ‘more for your dollar.’ Moreover, Market Basket’s wider assortment (in both the edible grocery items surveyed) reinforces this value stance ... Market Basket, by virtue of its smaller store base and greater entrenchment in its community, appeared to have an advantage here. The store’s use of personal appeals, handwritten signage, and a neighborhood - as opposed to a corporate - style established the grocer as not only more regional and authentic but also as more engaged with shoppers. It is this connection that Market Basket may leverage to develop shopper loyalty, thus providing the means to maintain its shopper base (or at least share of wallet).”
KC's View:
This study reinforces something that retailers should know intuitively - that the best way to compete is to find your differential advantages and exploit them.

No kidding.

But I guess it helps to have an actual case study to prove it. Though if a retailer needs a case study to understand that being different from the other guy is critical to success, then maybe he or she should be in another business.