Effect of checkout stands' assortment heterogeneity on impulsive purchases

  • Susana Isabel Monginho Canelas (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


In-store consumer behavior has been comprehensively studied throughout the last decades. It is a fact that consumers are from day to day increasing their in-store decision making levels, whether through unplanned or impulsive purchases. However, it is believed that impulsive buying behavior through point-of-purchase marketing activities increases the profits of retailers on the long-run (Baumeister, 2002). It is also considered that impulsive purchases occur more frequently and are more significant at stores’ checkout stands (Front – End Focus, 2014). The overall aim of this dissertation was clarify the relationship between checkout stands’ assortment heterogeneity and impulsive purchases originated at this store area. To this end, the Portuguese retailer Sonae MC kindly provided access to the necessary data to this study. Impulsive purchases are measured by this large retail company through the sales of the impulse confectionary category displayed at checkout stands. After a preliminary analysis of available data, 117 stores constituted the research sample with assortments ranging from 82 to 225 SKU’s associated to sales levels of 2014 first quarter. Results of univariate statistical analysis show a positive effect of assortment heterogeneity on impulsive category purchases at grocery’ stores checkout areas, as hypothesized. As assortment heterogeneity switches from a low to a high level, impulsive purchases significantly increase (p<0.01). A similar effect is observed at micro-category level, with increasing heterogeneity leading to higher impulse confectionary and chewing gum sales. The present dissertation thus demonstrates valuable insights for retailers and category managers willing to increase impulsive purchases at their grocery stores’ checkout stands.
Date of Award20 Apr 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorRita Coelho do Vale (Supervisor) & Ana Isabel de Almeida Costa (Co-Supervisor)


  • Mestrado em Gestão

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