Every year Supermarket News asks supermarket operators which competitors they fear the most. Walmart remains the top choice, but their fear factor is waning. In 2009, 64% of all respondents identified Walmart as their biggest threat. That percentage decreased to 50% last year and 45.3% this year.

Dollar stores (17%) were identified as the second most feared competitor, followed by club formats (15.1%) and limited-assortment discounters (3.8%).

The Supermarket News story quoted one respondent, who described the growing respect for dollar stores. “Walmart has been a threat for more than two decades, but the last year saw much more activity in the dollar stores when it came to Center Store items. Dollar stores have added cereal, canned goods, dairy and other items traditionally purchased in grocery stores.”