Compared to the last three years when Target converted more than 60 of its 99 stores in the region to its P-Fresh hybrid grocery model, sales at the Minneapolis based chain were relatively flat. Extrapolated estimated revenue at its 99 Mid-Atlantic units (including three Super Target stores) was $1.56 billion a gain of $27 billion over last year. Additionally, the number of P-Fresh conversions completed in the last 12 month slowed considerably as the large mass merchant focused a lot of its attention (and capital) on its entrance into Canada.
Moving up a slot to ninth place this year is Harris Teeter which continues to add new stores in the region. The Matthews, NC operator opened three new stores this year (54 in all) and saw sales increase to an estimated $1.27 billion, up from $1.18 billion last year. Harris Teeter is a company to watch for another reason. Earlier this year, it announced it was exploring possible sales options. If the publicly-traded but closely held retailer does sell its 211 stores, it should fetch a premium price from what it expected to be several prospective bidders including Ahold and Cerberus Capital.
Rounding out the top 10 retailers in the Mid-Atlantic region is 7-Eleven which had its best year in the market since the mid-1990s. The Dallas based c-store merchant operated 983 stores (24 more than last year) which rang up estimated volume of $1.26 billion (vs. $1.13 last year). 7-Eleven also increased the number of remodelings to reflect its newer more modern prototype and began to compete more aggressively for potential new locations.
Other retailers surpassing $1 billion in sales in the region included Rite Aid, which also enjoyed its best year since the new millennium (it actually turned a profit). The Camp Hill, PA drug chain posted estimated sales of $1.23 billion at its 383 units; Costco, which continued to be one of the top four success stories in the market with extrapolated estimated sales of $1.10 billion at its 26 club locations – one more than last year, a new Washington, DC unit; and Weis Markets, which found the sledding a bit more difficult than the past three years. Weis, which has really turned many aspects of its organization around (improved sales, marketing, technology and culture) under the guidance of CEO Dave Hepfinger, garnered sales of $1.02 billion at its 64 stores in the market including new units in Towson, MD and Woodlawn, MD (both were former Super Fresh/A&P stores).
Those other “success stories” over the past year were Wegmans (27 stores, estimated sales of $882.8 million), which opened two new stores (Columbia, MD and Gambrills, MD) during the past year and produced the highest per store sales of any supermarket retailer in the region; Whole Foods (22 stores including a new unit in Virginia Beach, VA and estimated revenue of $772.1 million); and Trader Joe’s whose 20 stores produced an estimated volume of $383.5 billion, the highest average per square foot total among all retailers. Both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s produced the best ID stores gains over the past 12 months.
By class of trade, Giant/Landover (168 stores, $5.80 billion in sales) topped all supermarket retailers; Costco (26 stores $1.10 billion in extrapolated sales) led all club retailers; Wal-Mart (137 stores; $3.84 billion in extrapolated sales) led the mass merchandisers; CVS (483 stores and $2.49 billion in sales) led among the drug chains in the Mid-Atlantic; and 7-Eleven (963 stores and an estimated $1.26 billion in revenue) paced the c-stores.
Additionally the 21 military commissaries rang in sales of $903.9 million
Viewed as a group, the 49 corporate chains in the market operated 4,561 stores and accrued $43.1 billion in sales, good for 97.16 percent of the Mid-Atlantic region’s food and drug sales.
Among all independent retailers (those operating 17 or fewer stores), Baltimore based Mars Supermarkets (17 stores, $212.6 million in sales) continued to lead all non-chain operators in sales. Other independent retailers topping the $100 million sales mark included B. Green (six stores, $142.5 million in sales); and Karns Prime & Fancy Foods (seven stores – a new Carlisle, PA unit opened after our measuring period ended – and $109.1 million in sales). Folding its tent after 138 years in business was Magruder’s, whose six stores closed earlier this year.
As a collective group, the 17 independent retailing organizations in the Mid-Atlantic operated 86 stores which garnered sales of $1.03 billion (marginally up from $1.02 million last year). Independents controlled 2.31 percent of the region’s food and drug revenue.