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Discount grocer tops list of nation's fastest-growing grocers in 2023

Sprouts Farmers Market operates some 400 stores in 23 states. (Photo courtesy of Sprouts.)
Sprouts Farmers Market opened 30 stores in 2023.

In 2023, the fastest-growing grocers opened 253 stores and added 8.4 million square feet of new space, with one company’s expansion outdistancing all others.

Discount grocer Aldi further solidified its position as the nation’s most aggressive grocer in terms of store expansion, opening 109 locations in 2023, according to JLL’s "2024 Grocery Report." 

Southeast regional powerhouse Publix came in second, opening 38 stores. (Source for openings and square footage information is at end of article.)

The other fastest-growing grocers in terms of new store openings in 2023 are listed below.

Sprouts Farmers Market opened 30 stores —  a 87.5% increase from 2022  — which included the opening of its 400th location, in Haddon Township, N.J.  

•Grocery Outlet opened 29 new stores, a 7.4% increase from 2022.

•Lidl opened 16 stores.

•H-E-B opened eight locations, up from five last year. 

•Kroger opened eight stores.

•Whole Foods Market opened eight stores, down from 11 in 2022.

•Hy-Vee opened seven stores.

New Square Footage Added

Aldi’s new stores totaled 2.47 million sq. ft. of new space – a 32.3% increase from 2022. More than double the average Aldi store size of 22,000 sq. ft., Publix added 1.887 million sq. ft. of space in 2023.   

With its large store size, Texas grocer H-E-B added 831,000 sq. ft. last year with only eight store openings. 

Other insights from the JLL report are below. 

•Online grocery delivery and pickup services have become a common feature in the grocery industry, with more and more grocers offering these services.

•Grocery e-commerce sales are forecasted to rise nearly 80% in the next four years, exceeding $330 billion by 2027.

•Restaurant and bars spending continued to outpace grocery spending in 2023, with the difference in spending between the two totaling nearly $20 billion in December 2023.

•Grocery-anchored retail property investment is poised to revitalize with institutional investors to become increasingly active. 

•Equity in fresh groceries accessibility will continue to rise as EBT SNAP benefits become a more widely accepted form of payment for on-demand grocery delivery.

Source: JLL Research, RetailStat 

JLL analysis in partnership with RetailStat; includes grocers with more than 100 stores (for companies with multiple banners, at least one banner grocer must have more than 100 stores)


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