Sales promotion and cooperative retail pricing strategies

Timothy Richards, Paul M. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Supermarket retailers make strategic pricing decisions in a high-frequency, repeated game environment both in buying and selling fresh produce. In this context, there is some question as to whether a non-cooperative equilibrium can emerge that produces margins above the competitive level. Supermarket pricing results from tacitly collusive equilibria supported by trigger price strategies played in upstream markets. Upstream activities are, in turn, driven by periodic retail price promotions. This hypothesis is tested using a sample of fresh produce pricing data from 20 US supermarket chains. The results support the existence of tacitly collusive non-cooperative equilibria in upstream and downstream markets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-413
Number of pages23
JournalReview of Industrial Organization
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • Dynamics
  • Game theory
  • Nash equilibrium
  • Perishables
  • Supermarkets
  • Tacit collusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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