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COLUMBUS, OH-Shoppers “in nearly all developing retail markets” show a preference for large-format food stores like Wal-Mart, Carrefour, Metro and Tesco, according to a survey by Retail Forward, a market research firm based here. The report says that although those surveyed expressed a desire to support mom and pop retailers, shoppers throughout the world like the concept of one-stop shopping, where they can not only buy groceries, but can also shop for an array of products ordinarily found in supermarkets and drug stores.

The Retail Forward research indicates that “the big hypermarket and supercenter formats at the forefront of global expansion by Wal-Mart and other leading food retailers continue to gain shoppers in most markets.” This is true in most countries, although Wal-Mart has encountered difficulty in Germany, “where the hard-discount format is well-established,” the report says.

The Retail Forward report, called “Global Food Drug Mass Retailing Shopper Update,” is based on surveys of 1,000 consumers in 13 countries. According to Mandy Putnam, author of the report and a VP with Retail Forward, hypermarkets and supercenters either rival or surpass conventional supermarkets in most parts of the world as the store type shopped most often for a broad range of foods, snacks and other household products.

Among the report’s findings are that shoppers are changing their behavior as a result of the greater variety of choices they now have for food shopping and that most shoppers want a supercenter of some kind nearby. Nonetheless, the study also reports that conventional supermarkets remain the mainstay of weekly grocery shopping trips in many countries and that specialty food stores remain popular shopping venues for fresh foods.

The greater number of choices that shoppers enjoy are a result in part of the global food retailing and supply chains that are being developed by retailers. “A majority of shoppers in all but three of the countries surveyed say they have more choices to shop for food than a year ago,” the report says. The greater variety of choices, in turn, “is changing how many global consumers shop for food,” Putnam comments.

In many developing countries like India, Brazil, China and Russia, “entry by foreign retailers is reshaping the landscape, and sizable percentages of local shoppers are patronizing these new formats,” according to Putnam. She says that large percentages of populations across countries say that they are shopping differently for food than they did a year ago because of their desire to save money.

The surveys forming the basis for the Global Food Drug Mass Retailing Shopper Update were conducted by Seattle-based Global Market Insite Inc. through the company’s GMIPoll online. GMI provides a range of software applications employed in global market research.

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