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June 22, 2017

Walmart maintains top spot in local grocery market

Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The Warrenton Walmart expanded its grocery department in 2012, becoming a “Supercenter.” In 2015-16, the store moved to the top position in Fauquier’s grocery market.
Walmart remains the leading grocery seller in Fauquier County.

For the second consecutive year, the world’s largest retailer rang up more receipts in the county’s $158-million grocery market than any of its competitors, according to Food World Magazine.

The Warrenton Walmart sold $32.5 million worth of groceries during the 12-month period that ended March 31, Food World reported in its “2017 Market Study Issue.”

> List at bottom of story

Based in Columbia, Md., the trade magazine covers the Mid-Atlantic market. It has conducted the market study for 39 years.

Giant/Landover remains the Mid-Atlantic’s top selling chain — as it had in Fauquier for 30 years, according to Food World.

From its opening on Feb. 12, 1986, the Giant in Warrenton led Fauquier County in sales. That changed, however, in 2015-16, when Walmart’s newly-expanded store moved into the top spot.

The Walmart Supercenter remained there in the last year, with 20 percent of the Fauquier market.

Giant followed closely with $30.5 million in receipts for 18.9 percent of the market.

The market-share rankings in Fauquier remain unchanged, with Food Lion, Safeway and Harris Teeter rounding out the top five.

Food World editors described a tough market: “Bluntly stated, it was a difficult year for most of the 58 multi-store retailers (45 chains and 13 independents) that competed in the rugged $46.98 billion Mid-Atlantic market.

“While the competitive climate remained at a fierce level, the biggest negative impact came from deflation, which primarily was felt in lower commodity prices in milk, eggs and meat. Milk, in particular was impacted by lower wholesale pricing, but also by significant price cuts made by certain retailers that featured their products at below wholesale price levels.

“If you were a retailer whose store counts remained the same as last year, you were likely looking at identical stores sales of between negative 0.5-1.5 for the 12-month period ended March 31, 2017.”

Total grocery sales in the county actually declined by $3.5 million last year, down from $161.7 million in 2015-16, according to Food World’s proprietary analysis.

Fauquier’s market mirrored the Mid-Atlantic, which the magazine described as “overstored.”

And, it will get more competitive, with German discount grocer Lidl planning stores in Warrenton and throughout the region.

Just over the Prince William County line near Gainesville, Wegmans rang up an astounding $96.7 million last year — much of that flowing from Fauquier. County residents also buy millions of dollars’ worth of groceries at Costco, other “clubs” and military commissaries.

Of course, residents of other counties also buy groceries in Fauquier.

The nearby Wegmans sold an average of $265,000 worth of groceries per day last year.

The Warrenton Walmart averaged $89,000 in daily grocery sales.

Food World’s most recent report on the Fauquier market:

1 — Walmart, 1 store, $32.5 million, 20.12 percent.

2 — Giant
, 1 store, $30.48 million, 18.87 percent.

3 — Food Lion, 3 stores, $20.3 million, 12.57 percent.

4 — Safeway, 1 store, $18.23 million, 11.29 percent.

5 — Harris Teeter, 1 store, $16.9 million, 10.46 percent.

6 — Sheetz, 2 stores, $8.3 million, 5.14 percent.

7 — 7-Eleven, 6 stores, $7.9 million, 4.89 percent.

8 — CVS, 2 stores, $7.2 million, 4.46 percent.

9 — Rite Aid, 2 stores, $5.3 million, 3.28 percent.

10 — Walgreens, 1 store, $5.1 million, 3.16 percent.

11 — Wawa, 1 store, $4.14 million, 2.56 percent.

12 — Circle K, 1, store, $1.9 million, 1.18 percent.

Total sales: $158.2 million

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Rover 530 · June 27, 2017 at 8:44 pm
We'll have to wait and see what effect Lidl will have on the local food market if it is allowed to come into Warrenton. A Lidl store is scheduled to open in Culpeper soon.
citizen observer · June 23, 2017 at 10:06 am
Funny because when Walmart was going through the approvement procedure to be built; it was assured it was never going to be a Super Walmart with a grocery store.

I don't care if it has one or not.

However, it just assures developers are not held to any promises they make to get approval in this town. And this Council is all happy and patting themselves on the back for developing a new Comprehensive Master Plan! The first builder with deep pockets will have it changed in no time.
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