Last month, the 2015 Supermarket, Grocery & Convenience Stores Directory was published. Along with extensive in-depth information, annual rankings, historical data, and trend analysis, it also includes mergers and acquisitions, personnel names, and statistical analysis.  This month, Chain Store Guide’s 2015 Grocery Industry Market Share Report became available for purchase. This report is a comprehensive database that measures the sales performance of grocery retailers and their competitors across more than 900 Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSA’s). When combining the information from both the Directory and Market Share Report, it is easy to gain a more in depth look at the industry, and the results of mergers and acquisitions, up-and-coming trends, and industry disruptors becomes apparent. This was a year of growth for the supermarket industry and a year of many new trends, especially in the addition of health stores, online shopping options, in-store restaurants, remodelings, and store sizes. Overall 1,797 new stores were opened, 416 of which entered new CBSA’s.  Below I have chosen two trends and three companies to discuss from this year’s reports.

Online Shopping:

While the number of companies offering online shopping options has only increased by six in the past year, more big name brands (i.e. Amazon, Walmart, Whole Foods) are beginning to experiment in this side of sales. Many companies are moving slowly when it comes to this trend, but more are beginning to experiment with the idea by becoming a provider on Instacart or allowing customers to order online but pick up in store. The amount of stores offering internet order processing has increased by 77% since 2011, and it is expected to continue increasing.

Companies with Internet Order Processing

*Source: 2015 Chain Store Guide Supermarket, Grocery, and Convenience Store Chains Database

Store Sizes

Last year, many companies were upsizing and supermarkets were taking up more real estate. This year the exact opposite began happening. While overall industry square footage and store count has increased, the average size of a grocery store decreased, and the places that people are doing their grocery shopping is changing. More consumers are living in urban settings instead of the suburbs, meaning companies are having to adapt and downsize. Consumers are also no longer shopping once a week at one store. Research shows that they now visit 2-3 stores a week for groceries at supermarkets, convenience stores, and warehouses.


Total US Store Count

Total Retail Selling Square Footage

Average Retail Selling Square Footage













*Source: 2015 Chain Store Guide Supermarket, Grocery, and Convenience Store Chains Database

2015 Market Share Report: Companies to Watch

Walmart was one of the main companies that began adding more small format stores by adding 213 Neighborhood Markets and Walmart Expresses in 137 CBSA’s. Of the new stores, 96 were opened in cities where Walmart previously had no presence. Most of the new stores are located in small rural cities. The company averages 30% market share for the CBSA’s it is located in.

Trader Joe’s is slowly becoming many American’s favorite shopping destination. Known for its low prices, small store sizes, private label foods, and quirky atmosphere, it is slowly expanding and growing in market presence. This year, the company opened 29 stores in mid to large sized cities, 6 of which were in new CBSA’s. The company averages about 2% of market share in the CBSA’s they are located. Overall, Trader Joes now has 444 stores in the United States.

While Whole Foods began 2014 with some negative press and many consumers claiming the store is overpriced, the company was still able to slightly grow in market share percentage and presence. The company opened 28 new stores, 11 of which were in new CBSA’s. It holds an average of 3.6% of the markets that it is in. Since 2013, it has grown from 277 stores in 89 CBSA’s, to 362 stores in 107 CBSA’s.

For more information on the 2015 Supermarket, Grocery & Convenience Stores Directory or 2015 Grocery Industry Market Share Report please visit or contact Rebecca Ewing via our online form.