Market share data are highly elusive, and represent art as much as science. Shares are generally calculated by determining the sales level of a retailer, and determining what percentage of a relevant universe those sales represent. In this instance, the universe is $775 billion, the sum the U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce, and other sources, have determined represents aggregate grocery sales.
in addition, this year SN has added footnotes to several of the market share calculations to offer a rough estimate of what food-only market shares would be. That's because several companies do a large portion of sales in non-grocery merchandise, including Wal-Mart Supercenters, Costco, Sam's Clubs, Meijer and BJ's Wholesale Clubs. Even Kroger Co., with its Fred Meyer supercenters and fine jewelry stores, does a larger portion of sales in general merchandise than most other supermarket operators, and a portion of Albertsons' sales comes from its freestanding drug stores. Many supermarkets offer fuel, too. Lengthier footnotes in the top 75 list, starting on Page 6, offer a fuller explantation of nonfood factors. So these data should be used with caution.
Of the 20 companies on the list, 19 appeared last year, with Fleming dropping off and Giant Eagle joining the list. Seven companies showed increases from last year (Wal-Mart Supercenters, Costco, Ahold USA, C&S Wholesale Grocers, H.E. Butt Grocery Co., 7-Eleven and BJ's Wholesale Clubs), three remained even (Publix Super Markets, Wakefern and Shaw's Supermarkets), and the remaining nine saw their market shares drop. The list excludes Super Target because its sales are included in the total for its wholesaler, Supervalu. However, the market share for Super Target on its own would be 0.8%.