If you’re wondering which grocery stores are the most successful in the United States, that depends on which metric you use. Walmart wins hands down if you want to look at the most sales in USD. If you want to measure success in terms of how many store locations are currently operational, the surprising victor would be Dollar General, with around 17,250 stores (as of 2021).
If you don’t live under a rock, then chances are you’ve heard of Walmart. Within the last few years, they quickly outmatched all of the previous leading grocery store and supermarket chains, now having almost double the annual income of Kroger, the former leading supermarket chain. Of the 63,328 grocery stores in the United States, 38,307 of them are supermarkets. Of those, 4,735 are Walmart locations. That means almost 7.5% of all grocery stores in the US are Walmart stores.
With the average Walmart supermarket taking up 180,000 square feet, we can deduce that around 852,300,000 square feet of US soil are taken up by Walmart. If we estimate the United States’ land mass to be 20,048,160,000 square feet, then about 4% of all US land mass would be Walmart stores.
3. The Size of Grocery Stores
As of 2022, the average grocery store covered a whopping 40,000 square feet, but some grocery stores trend toward the smaller side, taking up around 12,000-25,000 square feet. Ignoring outliers, like the Woodman’s in Kenosha, Wisconsin that takes up the most space of any US grocery store (252,345 square feet), we can use this average to do a few fun calculations. The margin of error will have to be fairly sizable, since we couldn’t possibly add up the exact square footage of each of the 63,328 grocery stores in the US, though.
If you take the average size of a grocery store and multiply it by the number of grocery stores estimated to be in the U.S., you end up with about 2,533,120,000 square feet (or over 2.53 billion) of grocery store!
However, that number isn’t very accurate, and we can hone it in a bit more. If we take into consideration the following:
- The largest US grocery store takes up 252,345 square feet
- 4,735 grocery stores are Walmart locations, which average 180,000 square feet
- 3,242 grocery stores are Kroger locations, which average 165,000 square feet
- 17,250 grocery stores are Dollar General Locations, which average 7,400 square feet
- 2,100 grocery stores are Aldi locations, which average 16,400 square feet
- 21,574 grocery stores are independently owned, and they average about 10,000 square feet
With all of this taken into account, you get a total of 2,342,352,345 square feet. If you take the previously mentioned estimate that the total landmass of the United States is 20,048,160,000 then that would mean the 11.68% is taken up by grocery stores and supermarkets.
4. Illegal Eggs
In the US, it is a federal law that any eggs sold at grocery stores or supermarkets must be properly washed and sanitized before sale. This decreases the risk of salmonella being transmitted due to bacterial growth on the egg.
In the UK, it is illegal to sell washed eggs at grocery stores and supermarkets. Their reasoning is that if you wash them improperly, you will leave behind excess moisture, which feeds the harmful bacteria on the egg and therefore would be worse than not cleaning the egg at all.
5. Best Sellers
For the past few years, the top selling item in stores in the United States was soda. In 2021, the top 5 selling items were soda, milk, eggs, chips, and bread.
6. Shopping time
The average United States citizen visits the store roughly 1.6 times per week. For decades the most popular day to visit the grocery store was Sunday, but in recent years Saturday has become more popular. With the average grocery store visit taking around 45 minutes, the average US citizen spends 53 hours at the grocery store annually.
This type of customer data can be very helpful when finding out how well your store is doing in the long run.
More Miscellaneous Facts
- 2.4% of US GDP is contributed to Walmart stores, while independent grocers account for 1.2%.
- Grocery store prices rose roughly 3.5% in 2020
- Vegemite was the first electronically scanned supermarket item in Australia in 1984
- Most grocery stores carry over 39,500 items
- It takes around 5 minutes less time to shop during the week than it would to shop on a Saturday or a Sunday, due to foot traffic
- 4pm-5pm is the most popular timeframe to go to the store.
- The size of shopping carts is increasing, encouraging people to buy more
- Coca-Cola invented coupons in 1887
- Self-Service checkout lanes were invented in 1992
- 51% of brick-and-mortar store sales are driven by online media.
- The average shopper prefers to spend more in one trip rather than making several smaller trips.
- More people prefer eating in home rather than at restaurants, leading them to buy more ingredients for at-home cooking
- 63% of Americans are trying to eat healthier
- The packaging that food is in strongly impacts whether or not someone will buy a product.
What does it all mean?
Understanding the industry and the trends within it are very powerful tools when it comes to running a successful store. IT Retail offers detailed reporting and inventory management that can help grow your business and spend more efficiently. Knowing facts like these can help give you a sense of where the industry has been and where it’s going. To navigate this fluid industry, you need a reliable POS system that can adapt to the times just as well as you can. IT Retail is that POS system. Click here to learn more about how we can help take your business up a notch.
Learn about some of the most interesting facts about the grocery industry and how some of them can affect the industry moving forward.
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