The U.S. supermarket stocks lost value through the first three quarters of 2017.
This is bad news since the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 soared 13% and 12%, respectively, through the same period. Kroger Co. fell more than 40% from the start of the year through the end of September. Ahold Delhaize, down 21.5%; Ingles Markets, down 46%; Village Super Markets, down 20%; and Weis Markets, down 35%. What’s going on?
Many pundits say that Amazon/Whole Foods and Walmart are better prepared for the future of food shopping. In fact, Walmart stock is up 13% since the first of the year.
Amazon, clearly the major disruptor in food has always taken a long view approach and Jeff Bezos has often reminded investors and stock holders that it would take years for them to make a profit – and those who stuck with him and believed have made fortunes. Let’s take the pressure off our grocers to take time to reimagine what the grocery experience should be – just as Walmart and Whole Foods has done. If we don’t, the focus may well be on store closures.