Grocery Wars Are Back!

Posted on by John W. Anderson in RVA Grocery and Delivery Wars

The Grocery Wars among the Richmond community’s oversaturated grocery market continue unabated. Food World, the industry magazine, released the current Richmond Region grocery sales rankings last week, as reported in Sunday’s Richmond Times-Dispatch. There are no surprises, with Walmart retaining the top spot for the third reporting period in a row. The rankings are reported for the 12-month period from April 1 through March 31 of the following year.

Kroger, the largest traditional grocery store chain in the nation (operating under over a dozen trade names), kept its 2nd place ranking, and Food Lion retained 3rd place. Interestingly, percentage of market share fell slightly for each of the top 3, but total dollar sales increased for each of them.

Conversely, Publix added 2 new stores and increased its market share by 6/10ths of a percent, which also boosted its total dollar sales. Publix expects to have 16 locations in the region by the end of 2020, with stores opening in Carytown Exchange and in the redeveloped Huguenot Village. Whole Foods also added a second location in the region.

More significant increases in market share by non-traditional grocery retailers (notably CVS, Walgreens, Wawa [over 1% increase] and 7-Eleven) ate into the market share of the rest of the pack.

Surges in March (the last month of the reporting period) occurred at all stores across the region, as the COVID-19 pandemic sparked panic buying and hoarding, with the strong sales reportedly continuing into April and May.

While the Richmond Region’s demographics have caused the area to continue to be oversaturated for several years, there appear to be few casualties thus far. Stay tuned!

About the Author

John W. Anderson is a commercial real estate attorney who represents Virginia businesses and individuals. He assists his clients with a variety of commercial real estate matters and transactions (lender counsel, purchases, sales, leasing, tax-deferred exchanges, and development, as well as providing counsel regarding compliance with access provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act), tax-deferred exchanges, and general corporate and business advice, including entity formation.

Spotts Fain publications are provided as an educational service and are not meant to be and should not be construed as legal advice. Readers with particular needs on specific issues should retain the services of competent counsel.