business news in context, analysis with attitude, the location intelligence firm, is out with a new study this week that it says "have seen consistent growth in H1 2023 and are well-positioned to continue their strong performance in H2 and beyond."

They include:

•  Stater Bros. Markets:  "Overall monthly visits to the chain grew in 2023 relative to 2022 despite the closure of several stores, and the year-over-year (YoY) increase in average visits per venue was even larger. Stater Bros.’ strong foot traffic trends indicate that the chain is maintaining its loyal visitor base and that customers who used to patronize the shuttered stores are likely re-routing to Stater’s other venues."

•  Smart & Final:  "Interest in warehouse-style grocery shopping remains highly popular, and Smart & Final is reaping the benefits, with the chain outperforming both the California grocery category and the wider nationwide grocery sector on a YoY monthly visits basis. And as consumers continue to prioritize shopping in bulk to save money where possible, the chain is poised to continue thriving."

•  WinCo Foods:  "WinCo has been experiencing strong YoY visit growth, with August visits up 3.6% relative to August 2022. And in a sign that the chain is seeing an influx of customers engaging in mission-driven shopping, the share of WinCo visitors spending between 30 and 44 minutes in-store grew from 27.4% in 2022 to 30.0% in 2023."

•  ShopRite & Price Rite:  "Price Rite and ShopRite are both owned by Wakefern and capture significant market share in the Northeast … Both chains experienced positive monthly foot traffic on a YoY basis for the months analyzed, though Price Rite consistently exceeded ShopRite’s visits. Price Rite’s prices are approximately 20% lower, and its success highlights the trend of discount grocers thriving in an inflation-market period."

•  Market Basket:  "Market Basket, recently crowned the top-ranked grocer for inflationary times, has been around for over 100 years. The chain is hugely popular in the region, with 88 locations across New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.  Although visits to the chain lagged somewhat following the outbreak of COVID-19 when compared to a January 2020 baseline, Market Basket pulled ahead of the wider grocery industry in January 2022. Since then, visits to the chain have consistently exceeded the wider grocery sector."

The bottom line from the analysis:  "There’s plenty of room for many kinds of grocery retailers to thrive and carve out niches for themselves within their communities. The success of Market Basket and Stater Bros. proves that investing in community pays off, while WinCo and Smart & Final’s elevated visits demonstrates the appeal of bulk buying. ShopRite and Price Rite’s success within their region shows that offering shoppers a range of options from the same umbrella pays off."

KC's View:

Seems to me that one of the things these companies have in common is that to varying degrees, they all have differentiated images and offerings.  Which is critical to competing in a consolidating and sharpening marketplace.