Grocery Outlet is one of the top retailers poised to benefit from shifts in shopping, according to Placer.ai.
After assessing what it and many others have agreed was another “tumultuous” year for the retail industry, location analytics firm Placer.ai named its top 10 retail brands to watch in 2023. Among other companies, Placer.ai spotlighted two grocery-centric operations: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market and Wawa.
Using geospatial, psychographic and foot traffic data, Placer.ai called out these organizations that are well suited for success in today’s ever-evolving and often-uncertain retail climate. According to Placer.ai, Grocery Outlet provides welcome savings during inflationary times by sourcing products through opportunistic buying tactics. The firm noted that foot traffic at Grocery Outlet stores rose 10.1% in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the third quarter of 2021, while visits per venue went up 4.3% during that time frame.
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Grocery Outlet’s momentum is also reflected in its expansion, as it grew its footprint to 425 stores in 2022. “The company’s successful cross-country growth proves that customers are willing to look beyond a popular brand when it comes to savings at the till. And with the brand continuing to post impressive earnings and lean into on-demand ordering, 2023 is looking bright,” Placer.ai reported in its white paper on the topic.
To that point, a new Grocery Outlet location just opened in Mechanicsburg, Pa. The 13,658-square-foot store welcomed shoppers in December.
The Wawa convenience store chain was also singled out by Placer.ai as a retail brand expected to fare well this year. Noting that c-store foods increasingly resonate with today’s consumers, Placer.ai touted Wawa’s elevated food offerings that helped drive up foot traffic and venue visits. Visits rose 50.1% in Washington D.C. alone, and were up between 34.3% and 48% in other states in the retailer’s footprint.
Loyalty is also a Wawa hallmark, Placer.ai pointed out. The firm shared that the number of customers who returned to Wawa locations more than twice in a given time period jumped 4.5% between July and November 2022 compared to the same period in pre-pandemic 2019. “This juxtaposition of strong loyalty, expansion plans, and food that is celebrated by foodies and regular joes alike can help position the brand for success into the new year,” summed up Placer.ai’s analysts.
Like Grocery Outlet, Wawa is starting the new year in expansion mode. In December, the company announced a long-term expansion starting that includes new locations in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky in and beyond 2025.
Emeryville, Calif.-based Grocery Outlet offers products sold through a network of independently operated stores at more than 400 locations in California, Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Nevada, New Jersey and Maryland. The company is No. 70 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Pennsylvania-based Wawa currently operates nearly 1,000 locations, with stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C. and is No. 32 on the PG 100.