Independents Generate $129B in Sales

Independent grocers are key contributors to the nation’s economy and workforce, according to a recent study released by the National Grocers Association (NGA), which provides a clear picture of the role independent grocers play at the national, state and congressional district level.

The research, which can be viewed via a new website, was conducted by John Dunham and Associates, a New York-based economic and government relations research firm. The report provides information regarding independent grocers' and wholesalers' sales, jobs created, wages paid, and federal and state taxes paid. The study also measures the indirect impact and ripple effect of the independent channel on other industries.

"Since I started working for NGA in 2010 one of the most common questions I have been asked is, 'How big is the independent grocery channel?'” said Peter J. Larkin, president and CEO, National Grocers Association. “Unfortunately, I have not had reliable numbers to answer that question, until now ... Those of us who are close to the business are not surprised by the significant impact our sector of the industry has on the nation's economy. Now we can showcase our contributions in a more meaningful, factual way."

Significant takeaways of the report include:

  • 20,884 stores are operated by independent supermarket companies in every congressional district of the U.S.
  • Independent grocers are responsible for $129.5 billion in annual sales.
  • Independent grocers employ 944,200 people, and pay over $30 billion in wages each year.
  • An additional 569,380 jobs are created through re-spending of those wages or companies which support the supermarket industry.
  • Independent supermarkets and their employees contribute $13.25 billion in taxes to the federal government, which is 1.73 percent of the total taxes collected at the federal level.
  • An additional $13.98 billion in taxes are paid by the industry at the state and local level.
  • In total, independent grocers account for close to 1 percent of the total U.S. economy, as determined by GDP.

"These results are astounding, but not surprising," said Joseph Sheridan, president and COO, Wakefern Food Corporation and NGA chairman. "Independents are the true 'entrepreneurs' of the grocery industry. But beyond that we strive to enhance the communities that we serve, and seeing the numbers in black and white shows just how impactful those efforts are."

Results of the study were shared during a press conference and reception this afternoon in the House Agriculture Committee Room on Capitol Hill. Speakers included Larkin, Sheridan, The Honorable Rodney Davis (R-IL), and Nate Filler, president and CEO, Ohio Grocers Association.

The research was sponsored by Mondel?z International, The Shelby Report, NGA's Grocers Research & Education Foundation, and Nielsen.

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