New grocery store openings were up 30% in 2018 as compared to the prior year, according to a report by JLL. More than one-quarter of the new stores were in Florida, California and Texas as a result of expansion by Publix, Sprouts Farmers Market, Aldi, Kroger and H-E-B.
“Grocery is one of the strongest retail sectors, with nearly twice as many new stores opening than closing last year,” according to JLL Director of Research James Cook.
Cook also pointed out that shopper habits have shifted to more frequent, shorter trips, and as a result, food retailers are focusing on developing smaller format stores.
“In 2019 we expect to see even more grocery stores rolling out their smaller-format stores as they battle razor-thin margins in prime locations, while still serving evolving consumer needs,” said Cook.
Aldi, which accounted for 16% of total new stores by square footage, continues to expand at a rapid pace. And new formats, like Giant’s 9,500 square foot Heirloom Market in Philadelphia, were recently introduced.