Corner Store Inventories, Purchases, and Strategies for Intervention
A Review of the Literature
Introduction: An increasingly popular strategy to improve the food retail environment and promote healthy eating in low-income and minority communities is the corner store conversion. This approach involves partnering with small ‘corner’ food stores to expand access to high-quality fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. Methods: We conducted a structured review of the literature to assess inventories and sales in corner stores, as well as to identify intervention strategies employed by corner store conversions. Results: Our review returned eight descriptive studies that discussed corner store inventories and sales, as well as ten intervention studies discussing six unique corner store conversion interventions in the United States, the Marshall Islands, and Canada. Common intervention strategies included: 1) partnering with an existing store, 2) stocking healthy foods, and 3) social marketing and nutrition education. We summarize each strategy and review the effectiveness of overall corner store conversions at changing peoples’ food purchasing, preparation, and consumption behaviors. Conclusions: Consumption of fresh, healthy, affordable foods could be improved by supporting existing retailers to expand their selection of healthy foods and promoting healthy eating at the neighborhood level. Additional corner store conversions should be conducted to determine the effectiveness and importance of specific intervention strategies.