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Changes Brewing in 2013 Top 75

Changes Brewing in 2013 Top 75

Lots of moves in the annual list of top North American food retailers, and more to come with Supervalu breakup

As of the publication of this year’s Top 75 list, Minneapolis-based Supervalu was poised to sell most of its retail stores, cutting its projected volume for next year in half.

The company, No. 6 on this year’s list of the largest food retailers and wholesalers in the U.S. and Canada, with projected sales of about $34.5 billion, is planning to sell its Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Acme and Shaw’s/Star Market banners to a private-equity consortium led by Cerberus Capital Management. The sale of 877 stores will reduce Supervalu’s annual volumes to a projected $17 billion, nearly half of which would come from its wholesale business.

Cerberus also owns Albertsons LLC (No. 35 on this year’s list with about $3.9 billion in revenues) and would reunite the banners through the pending acquistion.

Wal-Mart Stores continued to lead the industry on SN’s annual list of the Top 75 retailers and wholesalers in North America, based on sales volume, with Kroger Co. continuing as the highest-volume conventional chain.

New to the Top 10 on the list this year is Dallas-based 7-Eleven, which was 12th on last year’s list but moved up on the strength of 600 new and acquired stores. That change pushed C&S Wholesale Grocers, Keene, N.H., back one notch to No. 11 and Delhaize America, Salisbury, N.C., back one to No. 12.

The rest of the Top 10 remain the same as last year — with Costco Wholesale Corp., Issaquah, Wash., at No. 3; Target Corp., Minneapolis, No. 4; Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway, No. 5; Supervalu, No. 6; Loblaw Cos., Toronto, No. 7; Publix Super Markets, Lakeland, Fla., No. 8; and Ahold USA, Quincy, Mass., No. 9.

In one change in the calculation this year, the revenues of Costco are shown to include only its sales volume in the U.S. and Canada, rather than including its overseas revenues, has had been done in past years. Wal-Mart’s revenues are calculated the same way.

In the biggest change among Top 75 companies, Bi-Lo Holdings, Maudlin, S.C., vaulted from No. 47 a year ago to No. 22 this year following its acquisition of nearly 500 Winn-Dixie stores early in 2012.

Sprouts Farmers Market, Phoenix, also got a big boost on the basis of its merger last spring with Sunflower Farmers’ Markets, Boulder, Colo., which enabled it to move from No. 68 on last year’s list to No. 57 this year.

Click here to purchase a pdf version of the 2013 Top 75

Another chain making a big jump was Superior Grocers, Santa Fe Springs, Calif., which advanced from No. 74 last year to No. 66 — apparently a big beneficiary of its focus on marketing to the large Hispanic population in Southern California.

Also seeing its fortunes rise was Demoulas Market Basket, which moved up five spots to No. 36 on the strength of opening four additional stores.

This year’s Top 75 list also includes three new entries: Woodman’s Markets, Janesville, Wis., debuting at No. 69; The Fresh Markets, Greensboro, N.C., debuting at No. 71; and Grocery Outlet, Berkeley, Calif., coming in at No. 72.

Audio Slideshow: Top 75 Movers & Shakers

Woodman’s was added to this year’s list based on new revenue estimates that indicate higher volume levels than previously estimated.

They replace Winn Dixie, which, as indicated above, became part of Bi-Lo; PAQ, Stockton, Calif., which operates stores in Northern California and Hawaii and fell from this year’s list based on volume estimates; and Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, which is in the midst of a strategic review that is expected to lead to the exit of the Tesco subsidiary form the U.S. market.

Among companies that saw their positions slip from the prior year were Piggly Wiggly Midwest, Sheboygan, Wis., down four notches to No. 68; Unified Grocers, Los Angeles, down three spots to No. 40; and Associated Wholesale Grocers, Kansas City, Kan., also down three spots to No. 27 following the sale at the end of 2011 of its corporate retail chain — Homeland Stores — though those stores remain an AWG customer.

Giant Eagle, Pittsburgh, also fell back two spots to No. 23.


• IGA, a Chicago-based voluntary network of independent grocers, accounted for 2012 sales of approximately $31.5 billion from 5,350 stores, including approximately $8 billion from 1,250 stores in the U.S. and $23 billion from 4,100 stores in 37 other countries, including Canada.

• Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, the U.S. arm of United Kingdom-based Tesco, announced plans at the end of 2012 to conduct a strategic review of its U.S. operations that is expected to result in the sale or closure of the chain. Sales for the year ending Feb. 24, 2013, were otherwise expected to hit $1.2 billion, which would tie it for No. 75 on the list.

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