Retail Food Store Sales Table

Articles
May 19, 2011

Retail Food Store Sales Table

During April, food and beverage store sales topped $50 billion for the second consecutive month and were 8% more than the same month last year reported The Food Institute which analyzed government data released last week. This marked the largest such increase since February of 2008 and brought sales at these retail locations for the first four months of 2001 to $199.5 billion or 4.7% more than a year ago. Food retailers include supermarket chains, independent grocers, specialty food stores and liquor stores.

During April, food and beverage store sales topped $50 billion for the second consecutive month and were 8% more than the same month last year reported The Food Institute which analyzed government data released last week. This marked the largest such increase since February of 2008 and brought sales at these retail locations for the first four months of 2001 to $199.5 billion or 4.7% more than a year ago. Food retailers include supermarket chains, independent grocers, specialty food stores and liquor stores.

It should be noted that the Census Bureau last month revised all of its prior sales data so the numbers in these table will not match prior postings. Most of the changes were minor however noted the Institute and revisions are made annually each year at this time.

Overall retail sales during the month were up 7.8% from a year earlier, which included a 10% jump in motor vehicle sales and a 21% leap in gasoline station sales compared to a year ago. Thus, the increase in retail food sales even outpaced the overall increase in retail sales which included these two substantial upticks.

Although not as great as the increase in retail food stores, eating and beverage place operators posted a very healthy 6.3% gain in April sales versus the same month of 2010. This was also the largest such gain since February of 2008 according to Food Institute analysis of sales data. Furthermore, this marked the third consecutive month that foodservice sales posted a 5% or greater increase from the prior year.  Year-to-date sales at eating and drinking places were up 5.2% to $157.7 billion, with full service restaurants accounting for about 44.4% of the total, and limited service, including fast-food making up another 42.8%.

And The Food Institute also got a look at first quarter sales of some alternative retailers based on Census sales data that lags a month behind those above. Warehouse clubs and supercenters posted their third successive monthly increase in sales during March, reaching $31.6 billion or 5.2% more than a year ago. For the entire first quarter sales at these outlets were up 3.9%.

Drug stores and pharmacies, meanwhile, posted a 4.5% increase in sales during the quarter, reaching $56.9 billion. April sales however increased only 3.1% from a year earlier.

And e-shopping and mail order sales growth remained in the double digits, rising 14.1% for the quarter to $69.5 billion.

While about three-quarters of these retail sales increases can be attributed to inflation according to The Food Institute, the sales growth in retail food and foodservice sectors has outpaced advances in retail food prices, indicating consumers may have started increasing their food budgets in volume as well as dollars.

For more economic news, visit the Food Institute at www.foodinstitute.com.