Exploring sales data during a healthy corner store intervention in Toronto: the Food Retail Environments Shaping Health (FRESH) project.

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    • Abstract:
      Introduction: Population health interventions in the retail food environment, such as corner store interventions, aim to influence the kind of cues consumers receive so that they are more often directed toward healthier options. Research that addresses financial aspects of retail interventions, particularly using outcome measures such as store sales that are central to retail decision making, is limited. This study explored store sales over time and across product categories during a healthy corner store intervention in a lowincome neighbourhood in Toronto, Ontario. Methods: Sales data (from August 2014 to April 2015) were aggregated by product category and by day. We used Microsoft Excel pivot tables to summarize and visually present sales data. We conducted t-tests to examine differences in product category sales by "peak" versus "nonpeak" sales days. Results: Overall store sales peaked on the days at the end of each month, aligned with the issuing of social assistance payments. Revenue spikes on peak sales days were driven predominantly by transit pass sales. On peak sales days, mean sales of nonnutritious snacks and cigarettes were marginally higher than on other days of the month. Finally, creative strategies to increase sales of fresh vegetables and fruits seemed to substantially increase revenue from these product categories. Conclusion: Store sales data is an important store-level metric of food environment intervention success. Furthermore, data-driven decision making by retailers can be important for tailoring interventions. Future interventions and research should consider partnerships and additional success metrics for retail food environment interventions in diverse Canadian contexts. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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