Expect more super stores, larger grocery stores

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Financial analysts who monitor the grocery arena note that super stores will be even more prevalent in the future.

Wal-Mart added around 160 super stores per year in both 1999 and 2000, and hopes to have 1,000 super stores by 2001, according to Sandy Krovan, principal consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Similarly, Target has 30 super centers today, and plans to add 30 per year for the next 10 years.

Also, expect larger grocery stores, Krovan says. The average size of grocery stores has increased to 44,843 square feet in 1999, an increase of 28 percent from 1994. This has allowed the stores to focus on the profitable “perimeter” department, such as dairy, meat, fruits and vegetables, as well as adding pharmaceuticals, banking and other profitable, non-grocery areas.

Sales per square foot have risen from $477 per square foot in 1994 to $521 per square foot in 1999. The average weekly transaction in a grocery store 1999 is estimated at between $18 and $20.

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