ObjectiveWe examined differences in consumer-level characteristics and structural resources and capabilities of small and non-traditional food retailers (i.e. corner stores, gas-marts, pharmacies, dollar stores) by racial segregation of store neighbourhood and corporate status (corporate/franchise- v. independently owned).DesignObservational store assessments and manager surveys were used to examine availability-, affordability- and marketing-related characteristics experienced by consumers as well as store resources (e.g. access to distributors) and perceived capabilities for healthful changes (e.g. reduce pricing on healthy foods). Cross-sectional regression analyses of store and manager data based on neighbourhood segregation and store corporate status were conducted.SettingSmall and non-traditional food stores in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, USA.ParticipantsOne hundred and thirty-nine stores; seventy-eight managers.ResultsSeveral consumer- and structural-level differences occurred by corporate status, independent of residential segregation. Compared with independently owned stores, corporate/franchise-owned stores were more likely to: not offer fresh produce; when offered, receive produce via direct delivery and charge higher prices; promote unhealthier consumer purchases; and have managers that perceived greater difficulty in making healthful changes (P≤0·05). Only two significant differences were identified by residential racial segregation. Stores in predominantly people of colour communities (<30 % non-Hispanic White) had less availability of fresh fruit and less promotion of unhealthy impulse buys relative to stores in predominantly White communities (P≤0·05).ConclusionsCorporate status appears to be a relevant determinant of the consumer-level food environment of small and non-traditional stores. Policies and interventions aimed at making these settings healthier may need to consider multiple social determinants to enable successful implementation.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgements: The authors would like to acknowledge Kristen Klingler and Nora Gordon at the Minneapolis Health Department for their continuous partnership on this work and their remarkable expertise on local small food stores. They would also like to acknowledge the extensive efforts of those who assisted with data acquisition and management, including Stacey Moe, Pamela Carr- Manthe, Jennifer Pelletier and Bill Baker. Finally, they thank the store managers who generously participated in this study. Financial support: Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01DK104348 (Principal Investigator: M.N.L.); and the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research Center supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5U48DP005022 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Principal Investigator: M.N.L.). Further support was provided to M.R.W. as a postdoctoral fellow by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number T32DK083250 (Principal Investigator: R. Jeffery). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Funding agencies had no role in the design, analysis or writing of this article. Conflict of interest: None. Authorship: M.R.W. was responsible for formulating research questions, leading results interpretation and manuscript writing. K.M.L. was responsible for performing data analysis, contributed to writing/revision of the manuscript, and supported carrying out the study from which these data originated. C.E.C. contributed to formulation of the research questions, assisted in interpreting results, made contributions to revising the manuscript, and supported carrying out the study from which these data originated. D.J.E. guided and provided feedback on the analysis, assisted in interpreting results, and contributed to manuscript writing and revisions. L.H. assisted with interpretation of the results and made contributions to revising the manuscript for important intellectual content. M.N.L. was responsible for leading the overall study from which these data originated, including conception/design, funding acquisition and implementation; and gave feedback on analyses/interpretation of results and writing/revision of the manuscript. Ethics of human subject participation: This study was conducted according to the guidelines laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki and all procedures involving human subjects were approved by the University of Minnesota. Verbal informed consent was obtained from all participants. Verbal consent was witnessed and formally recorded.
- Corner stores
- Food retail
- Healthy food availability
- Store managers
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
- Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.