The Retail Food Industry Center established the Supermarket Panel in 1998 as the basis for ongoing study of the supermarket industry. The Panel is comprised of individual stores that provide information annually on store characteristics, operations, and performance. The Panel has two overall objectives: 1. Provide timely, useful information for the industry through benchmark reports and annual summaries. 2. Be a ready source of longitudinal, cross-section data for research on current and emerging issues. The Panel is unique because the unit of analysis is the individual store and the same stores are tracked over time. This makes it possible to trace the impacts of new technologies and business practices as they are adopted. The 2000 Panel consists of 344 stores selected at random from the nearly 32,000 supermarkets in the U.S. It is a representative cross-section of the industry. The information these stores have provided is the basis for the in-depth view of the industry presented here. Key findings are summarized in the margins of each section in this report. In general, these findings highlight significant correlations among store characteristics, business practices, and performance. They should not be interpreted as cause and effect relationships. The remainder of this report begins with a brief description of the data collection procedures for the 2000 Supermarket Panel and a descriptive profile of the participating stores, with breakdowns by size of store group, format, and location.Agribusiness, Industrial Organization, Marketing,

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