The Largest Grocery Chains in the US – Location Analysis

Groceries are big business. Consumers in the U.S. visit retail grocery stores more often than any other kind of retail store. We took a look at 11 of the largest grocery chains in the US – Walmart, Kroger Company, ALDI, Ahold Delhaize, Target, Publix, Safeway, Sam’s Club, Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods Market.

Insights in Brief

  • Walmart (4,676) is the largest grocery chain in the US.
  • There are more than 18,000 grocery stores in the US.
  • The state with the highest number of grocery stores is California (16.6K).

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Which are the largest grocery chains in the US?

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We analyzed a total of 18,253 grocery stores from 11 of the largest chains in the US. Walmart is the largest grocery chain in the US with 4,676 stores.

Kroger Company comes second with 3.2K stores. The Kroger Company has 22 subsidiaries that are supermarkets, marketplaces, and price-impact warehouse stores. The third-largest grocery chain is ALDI with 2K stores.

Grocery Chains with Most Locations Per State

 

top-grocery-chains-with-most-locations-per-state

The map above shows the grocery chain that has the highest number of stores in each state. Walmart dominates in 18 states, most of which are in the central US. Kroger Company outnumbers in 15 states which cover the west coast and a few states in the Midwest.

When it comes to the reigning grocery store in each state, Ahold Delhaize comes third. The company has more stores than any other chain in 12 of the 18 states in which it operates. 

Publix and ALDI surpassed store counts in only two states each. The largest grocery chain in southern region, Publix, dominates in Florida and Georgia on a national level. While ALDI leads in Illinois and Minnesota.

Walmart Locations in the US

There are 4,676 Walmart locations present in all 50 states in the US.  Texas has the highest number of Walmart stores and make up 11% of total Walmart locations. Followed by are Florida (341) and California (281). Walmart’s store distribution follows closely to population density with stores located in or near urban centers and consumer population clusters. 

Walmart is also the retailer with most number of stores offering curbside pickup service. It is the largest retailer in the world and continues to leverage its retail footprint while also evolving for the e-commerce age. The company has tested driverless trucks and drone delivery. Walmart provides numerous services for customers, including retail goods, pharmacy, grocery pickup. and photo lab services. Walmart has a pharmacy available at every Walmart location along with retail clinics and in-store veterinary clinics.

walmart-store-locations-usa

Kroger Company Locations in the US

3,242 Kroger Company stores are located in 38 states. These store locations are concentrated in the Midwestern and southwest regions of the US. California (303), Ohio (292), and Texas (210) are the states with the most stores. Kroger offers pickup, same-day delivery and shipping, and its own private labels.

The Kroger Company owns 22 chains, but its largest subsidiaries are – Kroger (1,348), Harris Teeter (250), and Little Clinic (225).

 

kroger-company-store-locations-map

ALDI Locations in the US

There are a total of 2,071 ALDI store locations present in 37 states. Illinois (208), Florida (163), and Ohio (144) are the states with the most stores.

ALDI is the 5th largest supermarket chain in the UK. In the US, ALDI has a majority of stores located in the eastern half of the US with a few stores in Southern California. ALDI has stated that the company is aggressively expanding locations and looking out for the best possible locations. The ALDI supply chain is one of the biggest factors in where ALDI builds a store. In simple terms, it means that ALDI builds stores near other stores because it makes it a lot easier and faster to ship products. Experts say ALDI, which has a cult-like following, is well-positioned as the low-priced grocery leader.

Ahold Delhaize Locations in the US

There are a total of 2,006 Ahold Delhaize locations. Ahold Delhaize’s brands in the US are Food Lion, Giant Food (of Landover), GIANT Food Stores (of Carlisle), Hannaford, and Stop & Shop. Food Lion has the most stores overall.

Ahold Delhaize is largely focused on the southern states, but also has stores along the east coast stretching up to Maine.  The subsidiaries under Ahold Delhaize knit together a network of more than 2,000 stores that covers one-third of the US population over 18 contiguous states. North Carolina (499), Virginia (349), and Pennsylvania (167) are the states with the most stores under Ahold Delhaize.

 

ahold-delhaize-store-locations-map

Target Locations in the US

1,897 Target store locations are present in all 50 states in the US. California (307), Texas (153), and Florida (126) are the states with the most number of stores. Most Target locations are concentrated in the northeast regions and parts of California. Target stores offer services such as in-store pickup, retail clinics, and pharmacies.

target-store-location-map

Publix Locations in the US

Publix has 1,283 stores across 7 southeast states in the US. Florida (828), Georgia (192), and Alabama (80) are the states with the most number of Publix stores. The southern grocery chain has the highest number of stores in Florida and Georgia out of all the other grocery chains. 

All Publix locations have a pharmacy and provide pickup for curbside grocery with the help of Instacart. Publix also has services such as recycling, money transfers, in-store Publix Bakery and Deli, and even its own ATM known as Presto. Publix is a popular grocery store nationwide. According to Newsweek’s 2020 America’s Best Customer Service list, Publix is ranked No.1 in the supermarket category and No. 9 overall.

 

publix-store-location-map

Safeway Locations in the US

The west coast grocery chain, Safeway is present in 888 locations across 17 states. California (245), Washington (171), and Arizona (102) are the states with the most number of Safeway stores. 

Safeway’s primary base of operations is in the west with some stores located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the East Coast.

safeway-store-location-map

Sam’s Club Locations in the US

There are 598 Sam’s Club stores in the US. Texas (82), Florida (46), and California (29) are the states with the most number of Sam’s Club stores. Sam’s Club has a variety of services in consumer healthcare such as retail health clinics, optical centers, dental care, and behavioral health needs. Sam’s Club also has in-store pharmacies in more than 90% of its locations.

sams-club-location-map

Costco Locations in the US

There are 557 Costco stores in the US. California (131), Texas (33), and Washington (32) are the states with the most number of Costco stores.

Costco provides a wide selection of meat, produce, and groceries in bulk in its palatial warehouse stores, but it also offers exclusive member services like a travel agency, optical services, a pharmacy, a customer-favorite food court, and gas stations.

costco-store-location-map

Trader Joe’s Locations in the US

There are 532 Trader Joe’s locations present in all 50 states in the US. California (190), New York (28), and Washington (25) are the states with the most number of stores. 

 

trader-joes-store-location-map

Whole Foods Market Locations in the US

There are 503 Whole Foods locations present in 42 states in the US. California leads with 92 Whole Foods Stores, followed by Texas (36) and Massachusetts (33). The Amazon-owned, organic grocery chain offers a number of services to customers such as Amazon grocery delivery and pickup, Amazon Returns, and Amazon Hub Locker. 

whole-foods-store-location-map

States with Highest Number of Grocery Chains

The state with the highest number of grocery stores is California with 1.7K stores. Followed by are Florida (1.6K), and Texas (1.2K).

California is also the top state for big grocery chains such as Kroger, Target, Safeway, Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods Market. The chart below shows the top 15 states with the most number of grocery chains.

top-states-with-largest-grocery-chains

 

Changes in Grocery Chains and Shopping

The notion of the ‘grocery store’ is changing. Today’s grocery store experience ranges from brick and mortar to online subscriptions, delivery apps, and direct-to-consumer sales. Given what’s happened in 2020, it’s absurd to focus on hot ingredients or trendy ways to eat when lives and jobs are on the line. For food companies, the main priority right now is not innovation, it’s production efficiency.

The pandemic has uncovered gaps in distribution, packaging, and sales, which have led to increases in product shortages and stressed consumers. Companies are solving this by simplifying product lines and skipping distributors to contract directly with farmers to guarantee product quality and availability. While nearly half of Americans making $25K to $100K per year reported eating healthier during the pandemic, presumably as America returns to cooking at home and shifting to plant-based alternatives. Companies like Clover Food Labs and Everytable are seeing opportunities to target low and middle-income Americans in their quest for healthy eating.

The ScrapeHero Data Store tracks store closures and openings, that focuses on supermarket storesdiscount storesdepartment stores, and healthcare. You can subscribe to our store data plans and get datasets with data points such as store openings, store closures, parking availability, in-store pickup option, services, subsidiaries, nearest competitor stores, and much more.

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