Visits to supermarkets flat as holidays approach

Dec 10, 2015 by


With the holiday season well upon Puerto Rico, family and friends often gather for lunches and dinners as part of their yearly celebrations. How are visits to chain supermarkets—specifically Econo, Amigo, Selectos, Wal- Mart, Ralph’s Food Warehouse, Mr. Special and SuperMax—doing as we approach this period?

Well, not as well as expected, according to this week’s Gaither International survey.

According to Gaither’s Media Brand Profiles (MBP) tracking survey, visits to supermarkets, or food stores, have remained relatively fl at in Puerto Rico from September through November, moving from 77% in September, 79% in October and dropping to 76% in November.

The November figure represents a drop of 2% compared with the same month a year ago.


Nonetheless, there have been changes in the visits registered by competing retailers. Econo remained fl at in terms of year-to-date figures, visited by 50% of all Puerto Rican purchasing agents, or consumers, in November 2015 and November 2014. However, this level represents an increase over its 45% figure in September of this year.

The second-most-visited supermarket in Puerto Rico is Amigo, with a 17% visit incidence in November. While fl at when compared to September, this incidence represents a slight increase of 2% compared with November 2014.

In the case of Selectos, while it shared second place with Amigo in September 2015, its reported visit incidence decreased to 14% in October and November; it reported a slight one-percentage point increase in November compared with the same month last year.

Wal-Mart has increased its visit incidence since September, growing from 13% to 15% in November, surpassing Selectos’ level last month. Wal-Mart’s performance, nonetheless, represents a 1% drop from November 2015 to November 2014.

Falling into what may be considered a third tier in the supermarkets category, Ralph’s, Mr. Special and SuperMax had an 8%, 10% and 6% visit incidence, respectively. Ralph’s visit incidence has fallen steadily, from 10% in September to 9% in October and 8% in November, which is the same visit incidence that it had in November of last year. Mr. Special reflects an opposite trend, swaying back and forth from 9% in September to 8% in October and 10% in November. Most importantly, Mr. Special’s November 2015 visit incidence of 10% compares favorably with a 7% incidence in the same month last year. SuperMax has remained fl at with a 6% visit incidence in both November 2015 and November 2014.

Gaither International’s MBP tracking survey interviews more than 80 people daily from among a representative sample of Puerto Rico’s population ages 12 and older. 

Polling is conducted by Gaither International and results are reported by Caribbean Business.