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Supermarkets Shrinking

In a world of oversize food — genetically modified apples, super-size fries, and venti coffees — one thing may be coming up smaller: grocery stores.

According to the New York Times, grocers across the country from Safeway to Wal-Mart are turning to stores with smaller square footage. Supermarket retailers, like Jewel-Osco, who is building a smaller-format store in Chicago, are hoping to capitalize on an untapped segment of time-starved shoppers who are looking for an affordable meal to go without menu prices, or who just want to pick up a handful of grocery items.

These chains aren't shuttering the warehouse-sized predecessors, but hoping to gain market share as competition grows cutthroat. Both convenience stores and drugstores such as CVS are selling more groceries and fresher prepared foods, and British retail giant Tesco began stateside expansion last Fall.


Join The Conversation
Soniabonya Soniabonya 8 years
Tesco is stateside now?? ::shudder:: I went to several while traveling europe and it reminds me of a bad walmart. flies, disorganized and the floors weren't too clean. sorry if that offends anyone but the ones i went to weren't that great. maybe those in other countries aren't as bad. other big stores i went to were Cora and Auchaun (sp?)... i got lost and overwhelmed in them. i generally came out with a headache. tho them jemble (round soft bread roll) at Cora was delicious ::drool:: the safeway down the street is not too big, but is large, the parking sucks, but it works since it's less than 2 mins away. it just gets too crowded for me at times. but that can be an argument for the smaller stores too. Crowded and hectic, ala Trader Joes. I love me my TJ tho.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 8 years
I have to comment: someone above mentioned that they didn't like the big stores because when cooking for one or two you don't need jumbo size everything. Well in my experience, thebigger chains carry more things adapted for smaller families or singles (at least in urban areas where that is the norm they do) and when I do buy "jumbo" it is cheaper than buying the same amount of the smaller stuff. that is what a freezer is for. I save a ton of money by getting the larger stuff on sale and either batch cooking and freezing or freezing and using later. Also, who doesn't love a jumbo pack of toilet paper? lol
frogandprince frogandprince 8 years
Oh man, Tescos are stateside now? I lived near a Tesco when I spent a year in London, and while it was cheap enough for a college student, doesn't really seem worth it to bring it here. And I dislike smaller stores because they don't have very wide selections. There is a small supermarket (like, very tiny) a block from my house, but I know that if I need something like refrigerated pizza dough, or parsley, they won't carry it and I need to try a bigger store.
itme13 itme13 8 years
I hate the smaller stores! Being in Chicago, I go to the Jewel-Osco stores and half of the items I need or that are listed as on sale in the fliers aren't even in the stores. I want to be able to go to the store and get everything I intended to get. Not have to make a second or third trip (to a different store) because these stores don’t have all the supplies. I hate going to the store thinking I'm going to find a good deal, because it’s listed in the sales flier and then it’s not even carried by that store. They're not just out of stock, they flat out don’t carry it, and this is for multiple items, it’s ridiculous. Oh and then on top of that...if you haven’t noticed, the smaller the grocery store, they higher the prices of the food are.
suziryder suziryder 8 years
I've been to a Tesco (Fresh and Easy) store in CA... I wasn't too impressed. The prices weren't all that great, and the products weren't as interesting as they are at Trader Joe's. I'll stick with TJ's! We do almost all of our shopping there now.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 8 years
i hate over-sized stores all that walking to get something. (I don't mind walking but with a 2 year old it can be difficult.)
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i've definitely seen some grow and some shrink, but being in NYC - well we always have a lack of space and high rent so i can understand why that's happening. i just need to see the size of food go down, and the cost go down too and i'll be happy. when you're just buying food for 1 or 2 people, you don't need the super jumbo size package do you?
fuzzles fuzzles 8 years
The Cub Foods (SuperValu) chain in the Midwest is doing this with their new stores. I live about equal distance from one of their mammoth groceries and one of the new, more compact stores. I love the choice! When I am tired or in a hurry, I appreciate the option of the smaller store.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 8 years
This sort of makes sense, but...isn't that what convenience stores and fast food are for? The whole ppoint of a large supermarket is to get things you can't get at the smaller places... omg. my parents live in a small town and in a city. my grocery store has EVERYTHING and more...but now when i go to visit, i might want to go pick something up i like, and of course they don't have it. it sucks.
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