Five year look at the supermarket industry

Articles
November 19, 2009

Five year look at the supermarket industry

The Food Institute tracked 129 mergers and acquisitions of various supermarket chains in the last five years period.

The Food Institute tracked 129 mergers and acquisitions of various supermarket chains in the last five years period. There were Blockbuster deals, SuperValu's acquisition of Albertson's, Whole Food's purchase of Wild Oats and A&P's takeover of Pathmark. In that five year period, registers at supermarkets rang up a 15.5% increase in sales. From $395 billion to over $466 billion. 

Food prices also increased during that time rising a total of 13.8%. According to the Food Institute, real growth was considerably less significant at 1.5% for five years. Just one-third of a percent on average per year. 

Average store sales during this period increased even more. Jumping a substantial 21.2% to $7.25 million per store annually compared to just under $6 million per store annually in 2002.

On the labor front the supermarket industry employed 2.43 million people at the end of 2007 compared to 2.434 million five years earlier. A lost of two tenths of a percent despite 15.5% increase in dollar sales. 

2009 is turning out to be a tumultuous year for retailers of all sorts. It is more than likely that supermarket operators will continue to squeeze costs out of the supply chain to remain profitable. And although effective in the past, this will present a pretty significant challenge for the future.