Socio-economic influences on distribution levels in Western Europe
Most international marketing research reports are based on a skeleton of currently available international socio-economic, demographic and social indicators. These currently available indicators used by marketing analysts are in many cases inadequate for, or irrelevant to, the requirements of marketing. This project has as its objective the development of more useful indicators and the prediction of the different levels of retail distribution in Western Europe in terms of hypermarket and supermarket development. The limitations of available international indicators are analysed and alternatives proposed. Some of these required new research, others the restructuring of existing data. Prototype indicators are constructed and used in modelling and prediction. The main analyses are made at the level of the sub-national region and at national levels. The regional analysis is a basic pre-requisite-for international marketing analysis. Subsequent analysis is by correlation, regression and Automatic Interactor Detection (AID). The usefulness and validity of AID, in respect of aggregate data, using a comparatively limited number of observations is demonstrated. The end product is a set of revised hypotheses more refined than the original generally-accepted "naive" hypotheses. The project investigates the relationship between the hypermarket and the various size categories of supermarket and their environments more precisely than has hitherto been possible. The methodology is of more general applicability to marketing problems.