Thursday, May 24, 2012

Traditional supermarkets lost stores in 2011, high-end grocers added stores

Supermarket powers Safeway, Kroger and Supervalu closed more traditional stores than they opened last year, while higher- and lower-end stores continued to add stores.


  • Safeway, which includes Genuardi's in the Greater Philadelphia region, ended 2011 with 1,678 stores, a net decrease of 16 locations (22 closures and 6 openings).
  • Kroger, the only chain of the three traditional markets mentioned here that has increased capital expenditures in 2012, had 2,435 stores at the end of last year, representing a net decrease of 25 units (41 closures, 16 openings).
  • Supervalu, which includes Acme and Save-A-Lot in Greater Philly, ended 2011 with 2,434 locations, which is actually a net increase of 40 stores. However, taking discount grocer Save-A-Lot out of the equation and it's a net decrease of 12 traditional supermarkets. 

On the other hand, The Fresh Market added 13 new stores last year and currently operates 116 in total. Earlier this week at the annual International Council of Shopping Centers conference in Las Vegas, a company representative said their long-term goal is at least 500 stores nationwide. A significant capital investment is underway this year, representing approximately 8-9% of sales, and 14-16 new stores are expected.

Whole Foods, which added 12 net new stores last year and has about 300 current locations, has 63 stores in the planning stage and says it may eventually reach 1,000. In 2012, 24-27 new stores may open.


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