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STORES Top 100 Retailers Report Finds Growth in Grocery Segment

Read the 2012 STORES Top 100 article, compared to 2011 report.

For Immediate Release
Kathy Grannis (202)783-7971 or grannisk@nrf.com   

STORES Top 100 Retailers Report Finds Growth in Grocery Segment

Washington, July 2, 2012 – There were only modest shifts in position among the nation’s very largest retailers last year, according to STORES 2012 Top 100 Retailers report. Wal-Mart – bigger than the next four largest retailers combined – remains in the No. 1 spot. Indicative of a supermarket growth trend seen throughout the report, Safeway moved back into the top 10 following a five-year absence. The annual ranking of U.S. retailers by domestic sales, featured in the July issue of STORES magazine, was compiled by Kantar Retail and sponsored by American Express Merchant Financing and SAP.

“Full of peaks and valleys, the scope of the retail industry leaves every company vulnerable to evolutionary changes, which in recent years include consumers’ shopping behaviors, price index changes, economic factors, and good old-fashion competition,” said Susan Reda, editor, STORES media. “When it comes to grocery retailers, fundamental shifts in how their customers shop – primarily because of the ‘need versus want’ argument – have changed which companies might excel faster than others.”

Maintaining its No. 2 spot and still the largest supermarket company in the United States, Kroger has found success nationwide while still maintaining its locally-recognized banners and is looking forward to expanding its footprint even more in the year ahead. Sales at Kroger ($85 billion) grew 9.1 percent from 2010 to 2011.

With sales topping $36 billion on growth of 5.6 percent, Safeway (10) rejoins the top 10 for the first time since 2007. New programs like its mobile-driven “Just For You” platform, which offers its customers a personalized digital shopping experience, are helping boost the company’s growth. Safeway swapped positions with No. 11 Sears Holdings on this year’s list. The only other change within the top 10 was a swapping of positions by No. 5 Costco and No. 6 The Home Depot.

New to the list this year, Harris Teeter Supermarkets secures the No. 80 spot. The Charlotte-based company saw sales grow 4.5 percent to $4.2 billion in 2011, while its store footprint in the United States grew 2.5 percent over that same time frame.

Roundy’s Supermarkets (89) also made the list for the first time. Sales at the Milwaukee-based grocery company grew 2.2 percent last year to $3.8 billion. The company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in February.

Grocery chains H.E.B. (26), Whole Foods Markets (37), Aldi (40) and Wegman’s (65) also enjoyed double-digit growth last year.

Rounding out the top 10 are Target (3), Walgreens (4), CVS Caremark (7), Lowe’s (8) and Best Buy (9).

“Food and fuel inflation contributed to the rise of many grocery and club retailers, but there was a real separation amongst those that were able to deliver strong brand and value propositions, including pure value players like Dollar General and Aldi to higher-end companies like Whole Foods Market and Apple,” said Alexandra Mansfield, global data manager for Kantar Retail. “Amazon was the real standout this year, continuing to change the landscape and shoppers’ expectations by capitalizing on the desire to save time and money, the ‘new convenience’. It will not surprise us if they crack the top 10 in 2012.”

Rank Store 2011 U.S. Sales (000) Sales Grwth
(’11 v ’10)
1 Wal-Mart $316,083,000 2.6%
2 Kroger $85,491,000 9.1%
3 Target $68,466,000 4.1%
4 Walgreens $66,330,000 8.3%
5 Costco $64,221,000 8.9%
6 The Home Depot $62,075,000 3.1%
7 CVS Caremark $59,688,000 3.9%
8 Lowe’s $49,282,000 2.3%
9 Best Buy $37,551,000 1.2%
10 Safeway $36,923,000 5.6%

About the Survey

The STORES Top 100 Retailers are listed by U.S. sales, which may include estimates for private or closely-held companies. Retailers included in the Top 100 either have group headquarters located in the United States or are foreign entities with significant operations in the U.S. market. For retailers with group headquarters located overseas, data is presented for North American operations only. Revenues from major non-retailing operating segments are excluded where data availability allows.

Kantar Retail (www.kantarretail.com) is a global retail insights and consulting business that works with clients to transform the behavior of shoppers and retailers. Kantar Retail serves the world’s leading retailers and manufacturers and has offices in 15 markets around the globe. By combining the resources of Cannondale, Glendinning, MVI and Retail Forward, the company solves client issues from tactical to strategic. Kantar Retail is headquartered in London and is part of the Kantar Group of WPP.

STORES Media is the publishing group of the National Retail Federation (NRF), the world’s largest retail trade association. STORES Media offerings include STORES magazine (print, digital and mobile versions), STORES.org, STORES Knowledge Series and STORES Weekly. STORES products report on the broad spectrum of strategic issues facing senior retail executives, including: retail technology, supply chain and logistics, credit and payment systems, loss prevention, human resources, omni-channel retailing, communications, marketing, merchandising and other vital store operations.