Shopper Insights

As we reach the final months of 2020, it's impossible not to reflect on what an unprecedented year it's been. As we continue to navigate the pandemic, so many facets of business have been dramatically impacted. Industries such as travel, hospitality, and restaurants have experienced dramatic declines and halting recoveries, while on the opposite end of the spectrum, home improvement, real estate, and digital businesses have boomed as the population seeks safety, having shifted office work and recreation to their homes.

The retail sector has experienced both of these extremes, with some seeing strong sales while others have been forced into bankruptcy and liquidation.

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dunnhumby's Consumer Pulse Survey

Retail success takes many forms in today's dynamic marketplace. From large legacy retailers to disruptive start-ups and all manner of competitors in between, the paths to retail success involves common principals around which there is a wide variation of understanding and execution.

To bring clarity to the issue of what makes a winner, dunnhumby, the global customer data science firm, conducted a massive survey of more than 7,000 U.S. shoppers for the second annual Retailer Preference Index (RPI), the first study of its kind in the industry. In what's quickly become known as retailing's equivalent of research firm Gartner's often-cited Magic Quadrant, dunnhumby's RPI is a ranking of more than 50 large food and consumable retailers based on a combination of shopper sentiment and financial performance.

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The traditional, regional U.S. grocery store—it's the institution that has fed communities for decades and families for generations. It offers that connection to a simpler time, a time when the guy behind the meat counter would know Customers by name, a time when a dad pushed his child around in a shopping cart while they "helped" him shop and a time before mobile phones invaded our lives and sped up the pace of life…

That place—the traditional grocery store—has history. Customers and the people who work there are part of a family. That kind of emotional connection is priceless.

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