Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a Placer.ai account? Log In

5 Key Regional Grocery Players Impressing in 2023

by 
Bracha Arnold
 on 
September 26, 2023
5 Key Regional Grocery Players Impressing in 2023

The grocery space is highly regional, with various chains dominating different parts of the country. With food inflation slowing, we rounded up five regional grocery chains that have seen consistent growth in H1 2023 and are well-positioned to continue their strong performance in H2 and beyond. Find out what is spurring foot traffic to these chains and what lessons these stores can teach the wider grocery segment.  

  1. Stater Bros. Markets: From Depression-Era Jobs to The King of the Inland Empire

Stater Bros. Markets, a grocery chain based in Southern California, opened its doors during the Great Depression and has since expanded to over 170 locations across the state. The chain is known for its local and family-friendly shopping experience, with relatively small stores located near distribution centers to ensure the freshness and locality of its products.

Overall monthly visits to the chain grew in 2023 relative to 2022 despite the closure of several stores, and the year-over-year (YoY) increase in average visits per venue was even larger. Stater Bros.’ strong foot traffic trends indicate that the chain is maintaining its loyal visitor base and that customers who used to patronize the shuttered stores are likely re-routing to Stater’s other venues.  

  1. Smart & Final: California Cash & Carry

Smart & Final, another California-based chain, is one of the country's oldest warehouse grocery chains. The company was one of the first grocery stores in the country to offer cash and carry, or the ability to take your groceries home after shopping instead of having the grocer deliver them to your door. Its commitment to innovation and improvement has not slowed since. Today, Smart & Final shoppers can take advantage of its warehouse-style shopping options without a membership card at its Smart & Final Extra! Stores.

Interest in warehouse-style grocery shopping remains highly popular, and Smart & Final is reaping the benefits, with the chain outperforming both the California grocery category and the wider nationwide grocery sector on a YoY monthly visits basis. And as consumers continue to prioritize shopping in bulk to save money where possible, the chain is poised to continue thriving. 

  1. WinCo Foods: Winning The Discount Game

WinCo Foods, once dubbed “Walmart’s Worst Enemy”, is another discount grocery that mixes bulk shopping with low prices. The Boise, Idaho-based chain was recently ranked as one of the cheapest grocery stores in the country, a welcome designation for shoppers as grocery prices continue to rise. 

WinCo has been experiencing strong YoY visit growth, with August visits up 3.6% relative to August 2022. And in a sign that the chain is seeing an influx of customers engaging in mission-driven shopping, the share of WinCo visitors spending between 30 and 44 minutes in-store grew from 27.4% in 2022 to 30.0% in 2023. 

  1. ShopRite & Price Rite: Appealing To a Wide Base

Price Rite and ShopRite are both affiliated with Wakefern and capture significant market share in the Northeast. But the two chains differ in their customer profile – Price Rite is a discount grocery chain, while ShopRite is a full-priced grocery store with a wide range of house brands. And though they are located within the same region, there is only minor overlap between the chains to avoid cannibalization.

Both chains experienced positive monthly foot traffic on a YoY basis for the months analyzed, though Price Rite consistently exceeded ShopRite’s visits. Price Rite’s prices are approximately 20% lower, and its success highlights the trend of discount grocers thriving in an inflation-market period. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is a significant difference in the median household income (HHI) between ShopRite and Price Rite shoppers. The STI: Popstats dataset reveals that shoppers at Price Rite tend to come from trade areas with a median HHI of $50.1K. In contrast, ShopRite visitors come from areas with a median HHI of $88.3K. This stark contrast in median HHI highlights how effectively both chains have embedded themselves within their respective communities.

  1. Market Basket: The Pride of New England

New England grocery chain Market Basket, recently crowned the top-ranked grocer for inflationary times, has been around for over 100 years. The chain is hugely popular in the region, with 88 locations across New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.

Although visits to the chain lagged somewhat following the outbreak of COVID-19 when compared to a January 2020 baseline, Market Basket pulled ahead of the wider grocery industry in January 2022. Since then, visits to the chain have consistently exceeded the wider grocery sector. The chain enjoys strong customer loyalty – shoppers staged a boycott of the store when the supermarket’s board fired popular company president Arthur Demoulas. This commitment to fostering a strong sense of community has also kept the chain from adding self-checkout kiosks to their stores to encourage positive interactions between shoppers and workers. This decision, coupled with the chain's strong foot traffic, highlights how investing in the shopper experience and fostering a sense of community can drive success in the grocery category.

Grocery’s A Go

There’s plenty of room for many kinds of grocery retailers to thrive and carve out niches for themselves within their communities. The success of Market Basket and Stater Bros. proves that investing in community pays off, while WinCo and Smart & Final’s elevated visits demonstrates the appeal of bulk buying. ShopRite and Price Rite’s success within their region shows that offering shoppers a range of options from the same umbrella pays off. 

For more data-driven grocery insights, visit placer.ai/blog.

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Placer.ai Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Text Link
Grocery
Coffee Chains: Q1 2024 Update and What’s Changed Since COVID
Checking in with RBI and YUM!
Chipotle & McDonald's Serving Up Success
Wingstop & Shake Shack Continue Growing Their Reach 
Strong Start for Sprouts in 2024
Crocs’ Footwear Fairytale
Who Attends NCAA Final Four Events?
Eclipse Fever: How Did the (Retail and Hospitality) Stars Align?
Exploring Albertsons Companies’ Grocery Growth
Placer.ai Mall Index: March 2024 Recap – Malls Rise Again
Placer.ai Office Index: March 2024 Recap
Florida Spring Break Break-Up? Travelers Still Love Florida!
Provo-Orem and Ogden-Clearfield Emerging As Utah Hotspots 
Three Formulas for Experiential Retail in 2024
Aldi & Lidl Making The Cut
Texas Suburbs on the Rise
Exploring Luxury Hotel Brands’ Guest Segmentation
The St. Patrick’s Day Effect
How Can JOANN Make a Comeback?
Panera Bread Well Positioned for Possible IPO
Who Will Benefit From Family Dollar’s Downsizing?
Dave & Buster’s and Main Event Entertainment: Food and Fun for Everyone
Darden Brands: Location Analytics and Consumer Behavior
Nike and lululemon: a Strong 2023, Sprinting into 2024
Where Is Retail and Dining Foot Traffic Thriving in Early 2024?
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – February 2024
Three Retail & Dining Chains That May Surprise in 2024
Specialty Discount Chains Rock Retail Therapy
Placer.ai Mall Index: February 2024
Placer.ai Office Index: February 2024 Recap
Ulta Beauty Continues To Shine
First Watch Sails Into 2024
Hibbett Sports and DICK’S Sporting Goods: A Psychographic Analysis
Checking in With Discount & Dollar Stores
Peeking Behind The Curtain: Movie Theaters in 2023 and Beyond
Diving Into Brick-and-Mortar Eyewear
Getting Into Gear: Exploring The Auto Part Industry
Recapping Valentine’s Day 2024 Foot Traffic Trends
Fitness: A Strong Start to 2024
Dutch Bros. Continues To Percolate Visits
Super Bowl 2024: Placer.ai’s Postgame Foot Traffic Analysis
CAVA & sweetgreen Are On the Rise
Hats Off For Off-Price
Who Is Shopping at Malls?
Drilling Down Into Home Improvement
Walmart, Target, Costco & Superstore Space 2023 Recap
Catching Up With Shake Shack and Wingstop
Something To Chew On: Demographic Shifts at Steakhouse Chains
Placer.ai Office Index: Looking Back at 2023
Recapping RBI & Yum! Brands’ 2023 Foot Traffic Performance
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – January 2024
Who Shops at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters?
Three Taco Chains to Watch in 2024
Starbucks and Dunkin’: 2023 in Four Data Points
Who Visits CVS and Walgreens?
Fashionably Frugal: Apparel in 2023
Catching Up With Fast Food
The Grocery Sector in 2023: An End-of-Year Recap
3 Mall & Shopping Center Trends for 2024
Bakery Chains Rising To The Top
Placer.ai and Esri Partner to Deliver Geospatial Analytics
Tampa Tourism Trends
Going For The Green: The Changing Dynamics Of Country Clubs
Christmas Day Dining Recap
Major Urban Shopping Districts – Holiday Season Recap
Placer.ai Office Index: December 2023 Recap
Recapping the 2023 Holiday Shopping Season
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – December 2023
7 Retail & Dining Segments to Watch in 2024
Diving Into Holiday Season Favorites
Super Saturday and Christmas Eve Eve: A Winning Combination
3 Budget Grocery Chains Finishing 2023 On a High Note
Making It In America: International Chicken Chains Bring The Heat
Domestic Tourism at a Glance: A Q3 2023 Roundup
Five Pizza Chains On The Rise
Jewelry Brands Taking Advantage of the DTC Opportunity
Secondhand News: Kids' Thrift Shops
Recapping 2023’s Dining M&As
MetLife Stadium Kicks Off Football Season
Placer.ai Office Index: November 2023 Recap
Small Coffee Chains Brewing Big Success
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – November 2023
Thanksgiving Travel 2023 Recap
Checking in With Nike and Lululemon
Black Friday 2023 Retail Recap
Starbucks’ 2023 Holiday Menu & Red Cup Day Performance
Turkey Wednesday 2023
Who Attended the 2023 Pickleball Championship? 
Three Surprising Holiday Shopping Trends
What’s in Store for Ulta Beauty This Holiday Season?
Best Buy and Department Stores: A Holiday Deep Dive
Discount & Dollar Stores: Strength Toward The End of the Year
The State of Off-Price Retail: Discounts Seal The Deal
Placer Mall Index Recap: October 2023
Placer.ai Office Index: October 2023 Recap
Retail Corridors Ahead of the 2023 Holiday Season
California, Here Gap Comes
Checking in With Home Improvement
Getting Into the Glasses Game: Warby Parker Takes Over
Fitness Positioned for a Strong 2023 Finish