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As grocery competition grows, what's saturation point?

A revealing and relatable case study of suburban grocery competition

A grocery store in a fast-growing suburb readies itself for a wave of new competitors to enter the market.

Sound familiar? Probably, given the same scenario is playing out in multiple cities across North America. A recent article in Twin Cities Business reports that the owners of a 48,000-square-foot grocery store called Kowalski's Markets already have several competitors in their area, and are bracing themselves for the arrival of several more grocers of varying sizes that will be fighting for their own slice of residents' dollars.

Kowalski's has been around since 1983; it's an upscale store that stocks a blend of meat, produce and ready-to-eat goods.

The store is in Woodbury, Minnesota, but grocers in Canadians suburbs will be able to relate to Kowalski's situation, as will any store employee in a city where demographic and retail real estate shifts are forcing grocers to reassess their market and how they differentiate themselves from their competitors.

As in many other markets, Woodbury is faced with the issue of whether the city has reached a saturation point for grocery retailers. Growing competition doesn't always have to be a threat, though, since many consumers will visit different grocers for different departments, making more than one trip for their weekly shop. As much as it's a low-margin business, there is also a lot of opportunity for grocers to excel in a niche and thrive. As one retail broker puts it, "The grocery market has never ceased to amaze me. There’s something for everybody, that’s the way I look at it.”

Read the full story here.

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