Wal-Mart Gains On Grocery Store Competition

shopping cartLooks like consumers aren't the only ones feeling the pinch of rising food prices: A new study shows that regional grocery chains are increasingly losing their edge to Wal-Mart, as shoppers look to fill their carts with more food bargains. 

The May study, conducted by BIGresearch, a consumer intelligence company based in Worthington, Ohio, reports that Wal-Mart maintains its No. 1 spot among all adults nationwide, with 16% saying that Wal-Mart is the store they shop most frequently. But regional chains are slipping.

For example, in the Northeast, 9.5% of shoppers say they shop most often at Shop-Rite, a marginal increase, and Stop 'n' Shop stayed flat, while Wal-Mart showed considerable growth in that region. And on the West Coast, Safeway continues to be the most shopped-at store, and its growth is level; Wal-Mart, in the No. 2 slot in that region, is gaining ground.



In the South, Wal-Mart continues to be the powerhouse, where 25% of adults name it as their preferred grocery store, and in the Midwest, it's also tops, favored by 14.9% of shoppers.

"Across the country people are cutting costs, and Wal-Mart's competitive pricing model is attractive to shoppers," the report says, noting that shoppers seem to be consolidating shopping trips, which is boosting Wal-Mart's share of prescription drug sales, as well. Walgreens continues to dominate, with a 17.3% market share in May, followed by CVS, with 13.2%. And while both posted gains, No. 3 Wal-Mart grew faster, for a total share of 13.1%.

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