Apr 23, 2024 - News

Walmart and Harris Teeter are still the most popular grocery stores in the Triangle

Data: Chain Store Guide; Note: Stores under the same brand name have been combined, e.g. Walmart and Walmart Supercenter; Chart: Axios Visuals

Walmart and Harris Teeter remain the most popular grocery stores in the Raleigh metro area — but Food Lion, Costco and Publix all gained market share during the last year, according to sales data.

Why it matters: Grocery store operators have invested heavily in the Triangle in recent years, hoping to capture market share in a fast-growing, relatively high-income region that's full of transplants with less loyalty to North Carolina brands.

Between the lines: Grocers like Publix, Wegmans and Aldi have all opened locations in the Triangle in recent years.

  • Triangle residents spent $8.67 billion on groceries in 2023, up 10.3% from 2022, according to Chain Store Guide, a firm that tracks the retail and food industries.

Zoom out: Inflation is changing how many Americans shop for groceries, with more people buying store-brand items and shopping at discount stores, the Associated Press reported earlier this year.

By the numbers: In the Raleigh area, Walmart and Harris Teeter were still atop the grocery store leaderboard in 2023, with 21.1% and 17.8% of the market share respectively, Chain Store Guide data show.

  • Yes, but: That's a drop from Walmart's 22% market share and Harris Teeter's 19.7% in 2022.

In the Durham metro, Harris Teeter commanded 24.8% of the market in 2023, followed by Walmart at 20.3% and Food Lion at 13.7%.

The intrigue: In the Raleigh metro, the grocery stores seeing the biggest leaps in market shares were:

  • Costco, with the bulk retailer's market share up two percentage points to 6.7%
  • Publix, up 1.1 percentage points to 5%
  • And Food Lion, up 0.5 percentage points to 14.4%
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