Aug
03

Grocery-Anchored Centers No Longer Safest Retail Bet

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“Everybody’s got to eat”: This bit of wisdom had become much quoted in the years since the recession as risk-averse real estate investors fled to the relative safety of grocery-anchored properties. It turns out that even when it comes to necessities, today’s consumers can afford to be picky about where they shop.

As multiple retail operators, from general merchandising chains including Wal-Mart and Target to dollar stores to warehouse clubs to drugstores, have begun adding grocery products to their shelves, traditional supermarket chains found themselves squeezed in their own market segment. At the same time, the ever-widening pool of upscale and organic supermarkets gave more choices to well-to-do shoppers not swayed by Wal-Mart’s rock bottom prices.

“Everywhere you look, people are selling consumables, so if you don’t have a good reason for people to choose your store, you’ve got a problem,” says John Rand, senior grocery analyst with Kantar Retail, a Columbus, Ohio-based retail consulting firm.

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