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Philly’s fragmented market weeding out “losers”

Philly’s fragmented market weeding out “losers”

A recent story in the Supermarket News says that Philadelphia’s grocery landscape is “largely being written by its losers.” And by losers Supermarket News means Genuardi’s, Acme and A&P (Pathmark, SuperFresh).

Genuardi’s is down to one store, and the exit of the once mighty brand set the stage for Giant to compete with ShopRite as the market’s leading grocer. No one is sure yet what will happen to Acme, which is now part of the investor group led by Cerberus, and A&P continues to struggle.

Bob Gorland of Matthew P. Casey & Associates claims that no other metro area in the entire U.S. has as many chain and strong independent operators as Philadelphia, noting that every major club store and drug chain is here, not to mention “numerous price operators of all shapes and sizes.”

The result is a fragmented market, with “losers” giving way to gainers like Giant, ShopRite, Wegmans, Walmart and Bottom Dollar. And the biggest opportunities ahead, according to Gorland, are for the stronger competitors to take over the weaker ones.

Below are the market share leaders for the 11-county Philadelphia market, according to Metro Market Studies, a firm based in Tuscon, AZ.

Note that this is a faulty list, as ShopRite is listed by operator, not as one brand. Last June’s Food Trade News market study listed ShopRite as the clear market leader of the 15-county Delaware Valley.

Giant – 15.1%
Acme – 14.9%
Walmart – 5.9%
Pathmark – 5.6%
BJ’s – 4.9%
Costco – 4.7%
Wawa – 4.6%
Wegmans – 4.0%
Brown’s ShopRite – 3.6%
Zallie ShopRite – 3.1%