It has always been said that competition and margins in the grocery industry are brutal, but this year feels especially hard.
For many traditional operators, pandemic-era sales boosts are long gone. Discounters are aggressively expanding at a time when the consumer is finding their value propositions more irresistible than ever. Recruiting and retaining employees continue to be top challenges. Costs are still up across the business, and consolidation is accelerating, with everyone waiting to see what happens with the proposed mergers of Kroger and Albertsons, and ALDI and Southeastern Grocers.
[Read more: "Progressive Grocer Unveils the Retailers of the Century"]
As larger food retailers enhance their offerings and gobble up competitors and market share, it has become harder for regional grocers to compete, unless you’re a regional grocer such as Publix, H-E-B or Meijer. These retailers are outsmarting the big players and growing by offering a hyper-local customer experience that’s highly differentiated.
Publix, H-E-B and Meijer have customer value propositions that can’t be ordered from Amazon, nor can they be found at a discounter. Each of these chains offers an experience and an assortment that are uniquely curated for the communities they serve, whether it’s drive-thru barbecue from H-E-B, or pressed Cuban sandwiches from the Publix deli, or one-stop shopping at Meijer.
Progressive Grocer congratulates the 2023 class of Super Regionals — the best regional grocery chains in America.