Jeff's Taking Stock column points out that many food retailers found the landscape "extremely challenging and difficult over the last 12 months." He cites overstoring, varied retail styles and formats, and a reduction in food stamp benefits as major factors. However, despite these challenges, ShopRite, Wegmans, Whole Foods, Aldi and Trader Joe's were companies he listed as "ahead of the curve."
In the Delaware Valley market - which consists of five PA counties, nine NJ counties and one DE county - ShopRite increased its lead over Giant in market share and sales for supermarkets. Acme, for many years the dominant store in the market, remained in third after a relatively solid year. Here are the top five:
- ShopRite / PriceRite (31.89% market share; $3.5 billion in sales from 75 stores)
- Giant / Carlisle (21.78%; $2.4 billion, 65 stores)
- Acme Markets (19.70%; $2.1 billion, 91 stores)
- A&P / Pathmark / Super Fresh (8.22%; $888 million, 46 stores)
- Wegmans (5.14%; $555 million, 9 stores)
Whole Foods, Thriftway/Shop 'n Bag, Save-A-Lot, Redner's Markets and Bottom Dollar round out the top 10.
In the Philadelphia market - defined as Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware, Chester and Philadelphia Counties in PA, and Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties in NJ - Giant still holds the lead, but ShopRite is gaining. The remaining brands in the top five are the same as above, and numbers 6-10 are the same stores as in the Delaware Valley, although not in the same order. It should be noted that Wegmans leads the pack in sales per store at $61.9 million, followed by ShopRite ($43.2M), Giant ($36.2M), Whole Foods ($33.2M) and Acme ($24M).
When including all retailers that sell food in the eight-county Philadelphia market and ranking them by counting 100% of all store sales for supermarkets, convenience stores and drug chains, and counting comparable supermarket categories for club stores, Kmart, Target and Walmart, the list changes a bit after Giant and ShopRite.
- Giant / Carlisle ($2.4 billion)
- ShopRite / PriceRite ($2.1 billion)
- Wawa ($1.6 billion)
- Acme Markets ($1.5 billion)
- Walmart ($1 billion)
- CVS ($905 million)
- Rite Aid ($843 million)
- A&P / Pathmark / Super Fresh ($691 million)
- Target ($523 million)
- Wegmans ($495 million)
In Lehigh and Northampton Counties, which many would consider part of the Philadelphia market, Giant is the dominant supermarket, with Weis Markets, Wegmans, Redner's Markets and Walmart as the other major players.
If you get the chance, visit Best-Met.com and marvel at the detail with which Jeff and his team prepared the annual Market Study issue. There are stats on each food retailer, breakdowns of the leaders by individual county, and analysis of the New York and Philadelphia markets. It's food retail overload, and quite frankly, it's making me hungry.