Grocery chains in your area

This is the place for general and miscellaneous posts on topics which might extend past the boundaries of any specific region. No non-grocery posts.
architect
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Re: Grocery chains in your area

Post by architect » October 2nd, 2017, 6:56 pm

Outside of College Station and Houston, this thread seems fairly light on the Texas front, so here is an update on DFW (my home market) as it has yet to be covered. Reading through the list, it will put in perspective just how intense the competition is here locally:

Current Players
- Walmart is by far the largest player here, with 120+ stores (a combination of Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets) at last count. DFW is their largest market.
- Kroger is the largest banner by store count, and is dominant across the market except in long-established parts of Dallas proper where they were late to the game on building stores and where real estate is sparse. The stores are generally well run and pricing is competitive. Most stores are also relatively new, outside of a few random Greenhouses, Superstores and former Winn-Dixie's scattered around the market.
- Tom Thumb and Albertsons by combined market share are roughly equal to Kroger. The Tom Thumb banner is more prevalent on the DFW side of the Metroplex, while Albertsons is more prevalent in Fort Worth. Pricing is extremely high at both chains and traffic seems to be falling off at many locations since the Safeway acquisition. Physical upkeep is also slipping noticeably, particularly at older Tom Thumb locations (water logged ceiling tiles and flooring peeling up are a common sight). Also, outside of a few Tom Thumbs which have opened/reopened over the past two years, decor is noticeably dated at both chains (though Colorful Lifestyle has been recently rolled out at two stores recently, so there is hope). Market Street also adds a little bit to Albertsons' overall market share in the northern suburbs (currently, they have seven stores in the market with two more planned in Prosper and Mansfield).
- Aldi has built a substantial store base and is continuing to expand. Their stores seem quite successful here.
- Central Market plays a significant role in the market, even just with five stores currently (a sixth is under construction in a former Albertsons/Minyard Sun Fresh space). All stores are well trafficked and pull from far beyond their immediate neighborhoods. HEB is currently stating that future expansion in DFW will be under the Central Market banner (which they own a ton of potential sites, more on that later).
- Whole Foods is also a substantial player in the high-end space locally, with 14 stores. They receive good traffic, but not as strong as Central Market.
- Sprouts has stores scattered all over the region, which seem to perform well as a whole.
- Costco and Sams's respective stores seem to be well-trafficked across the market. Sam's wins in store count while Costco clearly wins in traffic and sales per location.
- Trader Joe's has a decent presence in the market, though their growth seems to have stalled since a few years ago when they were first entering DFW. They currently have nine stores.
- Target/SuperTarget is a substantial player in the retail market as a whole, though their impact on the grocery market seems to be lower and slipping at that. Although a substantial percentage of their local stores are Supers, the grocery departments often seem relatively empty. In many cases, there is simply too much better competition nearby. Over the past year, Target has renovated over half of their local stores to their latest prototype, though I am unsure if this has had an impact on shopper traffic.
- Winco has entered DFW over the past few years and has opened nine stores so far (with another on the way in Carrollton). The stores seem to do good business, but are somewhat overshadowed due to having so much other competition in the market.
- Natural Grocers has a few stores scattered about, though they seem to be relatively unknown and lightly trafficked.
- Brookshires has a few stores in the exurbs of the market, though these stores are mostly located in areas with little other competition.

Potential Game Changers
- For several years now, HEB has been circling DFW with land purchases (20-30 potential sites so far) and the filing of plats for future stores. As of now, HEB is claiming that these sites could be home to future Central Market locations. Officially, they have denied plans to bring their namesake HEB stores to DFW, however, there are several stores in far southern suburbs which have performed exceptionally well, leading to suspicion that the company may enter with their namesake stores at some point. Two of these sites are particularly notable in Hudson Oaks and Mansfield as the Hudson Oaks site must start construction by the end of this year, while the Mansfield site must start construction by 2019. There are also rumors of a possible non-compete agreement with Albertsons, which could potentially be preventing their entry.
- On a related note, HEB also owns three store sites which were purchased from Minyard Sun Fresh upon the chain's shutdown. One at Northwest Highway/Midway is currently undergoing construction to become a Central Market, while a Central Market store is also planned for the Uptown site (likely in a new building as part of a larger development). A third store in Lake Highlands at Northwest Highway/Ferndale is still being held by the company, though HEB has no current plans to open a store at the site.
- Lidl has been busy making numerous land purchases across both DFW and the state as a whole. If they decide to make an entry at some point, they could put even further price pressure on Aldi, Walmart and Kroger, just to name a few.
- Winco's growth has been somewhat slow within the market, but if they grow and perform well locally, they could also force downward price pressure on competition.

This is going to be an interesting market to watch over the next few years, particularly if Albertsons/Tom Thumb continue to loose market share or if either Lidl or HEB decides to enter.

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Re: Grocery chains in your area

Post by BatteryMill » September 24th, 2018, 5:36 pm

I like how this board seems to be having some "fun" threads that aren't in the typical Retail Watchers vein. Nevertheless, here is my take on the state of the Washington, D.C. area grocery market that I know of.

Discounters
-Aldi - Having been in the region since 1998, Aldi enjoyed their first decade in here with a few locations to back them up. However with dozens of new stores covering the area since, their growth along with the rest of the nation in many shopping centers has made them a notable brand. They are still a favorite for smaller areas that could use a quick grocer.

-Food Lion - One of the first stores to break the classic Giant/Safeway/Shoppers mold after tides turned in the 90s, they largely took a foothold in the surrounding rural areas, occasionally reaching into certain suburban areas and becoming a grocer that could easily locate themselves in niche areas. Their basic grocer style, however was altered in the mid-2000s when many locations received remodels to Bloom/Bottom Dollar Food (depending on the nearby characteristics). This effectively wiped the Food Lion name from most of the area until the classic name was restored in 2012. Since then, their presence has been slowly declining - from stores exited as Bloom/Bottom Dollar to the Ahold Delhaize divestitures and a lack of attention to remaining stores in the area by the company.

-Lidl - With a few area locations as of September 2018, this is one of the few metro areas they are privileged with starting up in so far. Considering this is also their headquarters area, the stores are already poised to grow in this area.

ShopRite/PriceRite - With many promise in the area, ShopRite has been a steadily growing franchise grocer popular in Maryland and New Jersey. Only one location under the actual ShopRite name in Silver Spring has existed for several years thus far. However their PriceRite deep discount banner has made strides with a few more locations across the market.

Mid-level stores
-Giant-MD - As the market standard for over 80 years, Giant has long had an imprint on the industry with locations having existed in nearly every area town at some point. They were long known for the Cohen family that owned their business for most of their years and introduced many concepts that made it a staple among consumers, however with the death of Izzy in 1995 the chain set into turmoil and was then acquired by Ahold three years later.
With the Ahold years settling in, many shoppers have noticed a decline in the innovation and service of the stores. As of yet I am not sure in which direction Ahold Delhaize is planning to take all their stores, however their solid state and standard image makes them successful for now.

-Harris Teeter - Reaching this area in the late 1990s, they initially began opening stores in transitional suburban/urban areas. Since then, they have become very prevalent as a choice in newer-developed areas such as Loudoun County. Harris Teeter caters to a more affluent audience than competitors Giant/Safeway, notably featuring smaller store sizes and expanded service departments. They are definitely in a good standing within their existing stores and have taken a major foothold in urban developments as well.

-Publix - While they are still not in the Washington, D.C. region as of 2018 they have been fast making inroads to the area through the south of Virginia, as of now being stationed in the southern reaches of Fredericksburg. Currently they are still waiting to expand north, which will signal the entrance of an all new competitor to further shake up the battle.

-Safeway - The national chain owned by Albertsons, being their contribution to this area as of late. Along with Giant, they have long been sound competitors in the area dating back to the 1930s with the Sanitary grocery stores. After those stores were converted, Safeway introduced the popular Marina design which became a staple of many older suburbs and the town proper itself.
While they have lost some battles, including the Herbert Haft torpedo where they lost stores, Safeway generally has had a safe presence in the Washington, D.C. area where they continue to expand and renovate locations, which is important to both Safeway and Albertsons.

-Shoppers - As a longtime discounter from the warehouse craze in the 80s, Shoppers revolutionized the market in their first 20 years of existence. However after multiple buyout wars they eventually ended up with SuperValu, who at first took good care to expand the chain and bring in a more traditional style to the chain. However at SVU and Shoppers’ decline with a lack of focus, the 2010s has not been kind to them - with several notable store closings that only seem to have continued over the years. Now the question remains as to whether their brand will survive or not as SuperValu is refocusing its business.

-Wegmans - Launching in Virginia in 2004, these large stores quickly established a presence here and have become both massive critical and commercial successes. Their stores here are definitely modern and feature a lot of everything, something I definitely enjoy.
As of now they are looking to infill their store map by opening locations more densely than before. Who knows to what status they might reach amongst the market?

Hypermarkets
-Walmart (Supercenter) - Until 2009, Supercenters with grocery were generally limited to the neighboring areas of the region, such as in Winchester, Fredericksburg, and Baltimore. I am generally not sure as to why Walmart waited so long to patch this gap, but one thing I know is that they had already planned these in the early-mid 2000s and had to possibly wait for the continued expansion of other incoming retailers and distribution centers to begin operation.
Timed with the Project Impact remodel initiative across the country, dozens of stores were remodeled and expanded in Northern Virginia to meet the standards. Maryland did not get much done with the local laws and county governments often denying Supercenter stores. Through these years, they as a discount store have driven major competition in their times, putting some chains at edge and rising up the market share ranks. They are one of the top discount grocers in the area as well. Walmart Neighborhood Market only has one area location as of 2018 in Stafford, VA and I am unaware of any further expansion.

-Target (SuperTarget/PFresh) - There are four SuperTargets throughout Northern Virginia, all opened in the 2000s. Most of them do good business from what I know. On the other hand, many regular Targets in the area have remodeled to PFresh. These stores have a decent foothold in the market but do not seem to be anything significant.

Membership warehouse clubs:
-BJ's Wholesale Club
-Costco Wholesale
-Sam's Club

Natural/organic stores
-Whole Foods - This chain has roots in the former Fresh Fields chain they acquired in 1996, along with some of their own expansion. Through the years they have steadily expanded, largely in wealthier areas and urban developments.

-The Fresh Market - A smaller national chain with a base across the country which opened a few locations this decade here. The decline of the chain as of late has hit their presence here hard as several stores have closed and others have been pulled from plans entirely.

Other natural/organic chains
-MOM’s Organic Market
-Yes! Organic Market

Additionally many international markets exist catering to different cultures or all, with Lotte and Hmart being rapidly expanding Asian-style stores and other local players including Fresh World, Global Food and Megamart Supermarket to name a few. These stores often times repurpose old grocers and contain remnants to certain extents, while providing many dining options and uncommon goods not found in other stores.

The changes the market is making are mostly coming through acquisitions/mergers, shifts in the market and the growing urban grocery store setting.

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Re: Grocery chains in your area

Post by Brian Lutz » September 25th, 2018, 7:27 am

Not much new to report on the Seattle market since the last update in 2016:

- Walmart abruptly closed all three Sam's Club stores in Washington in early 2018, basically conceding the warehouse store market in the state to Costco;
- Costco continues to slowly expand, adding new stores here and there;
- I've seen a number of new Grocery Outlet stores appearing lately, one of the few that seems to be expanding significantly in the area;
- Saar's Super Saver Foods (a discounter with a focus on ethnic foods and a somewhat less than stellar reputation otherwise) has been opportunistically picking off various store sites as other operators close them;
- Fred Meyer has been remodeling stores, but opinions on the remodeled stores (especially their floor treatments) tends to be negative here;
- Indications are that the QFC brand is stagnating, and although store count is generally unchanged it's hard to see them as being much more than a more expensive Fred Meyer lately;
- Whole Foods has slowly added a few stores here and there. Little visible change since Amazon bought Whole Foods in 2017, but they did abruptly close the 365 store at Bellevue Square last October after only about a year of operation. This led to litigation by Kemper Development (owners of Bellevue Square) where a judge ordered them to reopen the store and continue to operate it, but since the store never reopened after that I assume there was some sort of undisclosed settlement to the matter.
- After the initial flurry of activity from the Safeway/Albertson's merger there isn't much to report. A few stores here and there swapping brands, but little change to store count.

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Re: Grocery chains in your area

Post by rwsandiego » September 25th, 2018, 8:43 pm

I'm relatively new to Phoenix and live downtown, so my observations skew towards the area south of Glendale, east of Seventh Avenue, and north of Broadway Road, but here goes:
  • Sam's Club closed several stores. No loss for me, as I have a Costco membership. Folks at work don't seem to shop their, either. Maybe that's why they closed.
  • Safeway is remodeling stores and also closing some, mainly in neighborhoods where the customer base skews to the lower end of the demographic scale. We have a sprinkling of Colorful Lifestyle and at least one (McDowell and Seventh Street) which is undergoing a remodel into a Florida decor with a greater emphasis on higher-end and fresh food
  • Albertsons, as we know, closed Tatum and Shea. Can't speak to how well or poorly they are doing as I never shop there. The closest stores are simply too far to drive, particularly since I pass several Fry's and Safeway stores along the way.
  • Fry's does not appear to have opened many new stores since 2016 when I landed here, but they are remodeling stores at a healthy clip. The 20th and Highland store (near the Biltmore and Arcadia districts) is recently remodeled and pretty nicely done. They are building a Fry's downtown as part of a new apartment complex. It should open in late 2019. Will be interesting to see whether it becomes a Fresh Fare-like store or a plain ol' Fry's. Hoping for the former.
  • Basha's just kind of stagnates with their small-ish stores. They are decidedly medium. Not rare, not well-done, just medium
  • AJ's Fine Foods also stagnates. They remodeled the outside of the Uptown Plaza store (after the landlord threatened to oust them if they did not get with the program and upgrade the exterior along with the rest of the plaza, or so goes the story). Now they are remodeling the inside. Their stores tend to be on the tired side.
  • Food City is what it is: low-priced groceries. And they seem to do well.
  • Whole Foods is remodeling their North Scottsdale store (Scottsdale Rd and Loop 202 Freeway). Other than that, not much to report on. The Tempe store seems to have been cleaned up.
  • Sprouts, which is based here, opened their long-rumored and -awaited store in the old Bashas' space at Seventh Avenue and Osborne. They should have taken more space, as it is pretty cramped. However, it is more nicely decorated than their other stores. They've opened quite a few stores in the last year, including one at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale. I hoped the Seventh Avenue store would be more like the Gainey store. Alas, no.
  • Aldi has yet to open, but there is quite a bit of buzz about them. Hope they live up to expectations
Other Retail Watchers who live in other parts of Phoenix will have to weigh in on the bigger picture, but that's the view from Central Phoenix.

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Re: Grocery chains in your area

Post by cjd » September 30th, 2018, 1:14 pm

Aldi - seems to be doing well after about a decade in business, recently expanded their store maybe a year ago.

Winn Dixie has two locations:
North - an original location. This store seems relatively average or slightly smaller, no pharmacy. It was remodeled in 2008 so is relatively modern and seems well kept. It seems to be a very slow store, never many customers when I've been. Probably because it's near a Publix, Walmart and Aldi.

South - this was a former Sweetbay location that was originally a Kash N Karry location. This seems to be a busy store, it's larger than the north location and has a pharmacy which probably helps. Publix is the only main competition on this side of town. When Winn Dixie moved in they did a few minor updates but used the Sweetbay decor from the mid 2000s. Last month they did a remodel which seems to mainly be a paint, signage and decor change, but I haven't been inside to see exactly.

Publix has two locations:
North- this was formerly an Albertsons from the late 90s, Publix moved in around 2009, this replaced an 80s Publix location in the town to the north. This seems to be a busy location but is arranged just like an Albertson's. They did add a drive thru pharmacy here. Doesn't seem to really stick out in my mind , just typical Publix.

South- this location was rebuilt in 2016, replacing an original store from the 60s that had expanded once. Again, typical Publix, can't say anything bad about it.

Save A Lot - have not been to this store but maybe once. Probably your typical Save A Lot, I guess this could be a viable store to do your shopping at, but it's definitely not on par with a full service supermarket. This store opened about 6 years ago or so. Actually this was Winn Dixie's first location in town from the early 70s. Winn Dixie operated it along with their north store until they closed this in about 2002. Nothing about the Save A Lot resembles it though.

Walmart - your typical Walmart. I don't usually do much shopping here unless I need something they stock or I happen to be in the store for a non-grocery purchase.

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Re: Grocery chains in your area

Post by Knight » October 11th, 2018, 9:18 am

I frequent Greenville and Spartanburg counties in South Carolina:

Supermarket
BI-LO
Food Lion
Harris Teeter
Ingle's
Lowe's Foods
Publix
Walmart Neighborhood Market

Hypermarket
Walmart Supercenter

Limited assortment/discount grocery
Aldi
Lidl
Sav-Mor
Save-A-Lot

Specialty organic/gourmet grocery
Earth Fare
The Fresh Market
Trader Joe's
Whole Foods Market

Wholesale club
Costco
Sam's Club

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