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June 24, 2019

Walmart remains county’s top seller of groceries

Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The Warrenton Walmart has sold more food than any other store since 2015-16, after it expanded to a “Supercenter” will a full grocery department.
If this year’s market study data is an indicator, then survival is the new prosperity.
— Food World Publisher Jeff Metzger
Walmart remains the king of grocery sales in Fauquier, according to the latest industry report.

The “big-box” retailer in Warrenton rang up $33.1 million in grocery sales for the 12 months that ended March 31, Food World magazine reported last week.

Walmart has led Fauquier in grocery sales four consecutive years. Giant Food had topped the local market for decades, until 2015-16, after the local Walmart expanded to a “Supercenter” with a full grocery department.

Overall, Fauquier grocery sales fell 4.8 percent from the previous year to $152.8 million, according to Food World, which has conducted the annual market study since 1978. The Columbia, Md., publisher’s research covers 89 counties in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The $7.8-million decline in spending for groceries here could result from greater “leakage” of local dollars to other markets. Thousands of Fauquier residents shop outside the county, especially at club stores such as Costco and at retailers such as Wegmans near Gainesville.

In Warrenton, Giant Food and Safeway showed slight declines in sales, according to the most recent Food World survey. Food Lion, with three stores in Fauquier, posted a slight gain.

Harris Teeter, with sales volume unchanged year-over-year at its Warrenton store, moved up one spot, passing Safeway, to rank fourth in the Fauquier market, according to Food World.

The Mid-Atlantic grocery market remains very competitive, the magazine reported.

“If this year’s market study data is an indicator, then survival is the new prosperity,” Food World Publisher Jeff Metzger wrote in this year’s report. “Despite an overall healthy economy and slightly increased inflation, many food retailers once again struggled to post positive identical store sales in the $48.5 billion Mid-Atlantic marketing area that remains overstored and diversified.

“While the region clearly has too many stores, which are operated by retailers with divergent styles, there is some evidence that a slight thinning out is occurring.”

No stores closed in Fauquier over the last year. But, at the end of 2017, Lidl abandoned its plan for a Warrenton store and several others in the Mid-Atlantic.

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

1 — Walmart, 1 store, $33.1 million in sales, 21.26 percent market share

2 — Giant, 1 store, $28.49 million, 18.3 percent

3 — Food Lion, 3 stores, $20.6 million, 13.23 percent

4 — Harris Teeter, 1 store, $16.9 million, 10.85 percent

5 — Safeway, 1 store, $15.92 million, 10.22 percent

6 — Sheetz, 2 stores, $8.1 million, 5.2 percent

7 — CVS, 2 stores, $7.7 million, 4.95 percent

8 — 7-Eleven, 4 stores, $7.3 million, 4.69 percent

9 — Walgreens, 1 store, $5.4 million, 3.47 percent

10 — Wawa, 1 store, $4.13 million, 2.65 percent

11 — Rite Aid, 1 store, $3.3 million, 2.12 percent

12 — Circle K, 1 store, $1.9 million, 1.22 percent

Total sales: $152.84 million

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Bonnie C. · June 25, 2019 at 1:31 pm
While I'm not surprised that Walmart came out on top (Warrenton's Walmart was the ONLY supermarket in a 50+ mile area search that were able to provide me with a Butterball smoked turkey for Easter!!), it's sad for Warrenton that Lidl backed out.

When Lidl first opened here in Culpeper I had pre-decided that I would not be a fan, but honestly it's now my first stop on my weekly grocery shopping trip. The quality of the meats & produce are outstanding, & my husband loves perusing the non-food-stuffs in search of a bargain (which we surprisingly have found quite a few nice ones). While you most likely can't do ALL your shopping at a Lidl, the quality & pricing for practically everything is beyond compare.
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