Staging a Comeback? Traditional Grocers Challenging Costco and Walmart
For the last few years, traditional grocers in Canada have been engaged in a hard-fought battle with retail giants Costco and Walmart, their lower price points often being quite attractive to cost-conscious Canadians. However, according to recent statistics, the tide may be turning.
According to Global News, “While international retailers Costco and Walmart have gobbled up a growing share of Canadian food sales for more than a decade, further gains are expected to be tougher to eke out as the country’s traditional grocers mount an improved defence.”
Between 2004 and 2016, “traditional grocers’ market share fell to about 79.2 per cent, while that of the general merchandisers more than doubled.” That represented a major shift in the market, and as a result, traditional grocers had to change things up in order to compete.
What’s leading the charge? Firstly, the price gap that once dictated many of the victories of Costco and Walmart has narrowed. While Canadians are more and more aware of price points, now, with price points much closer, the price difference between a product at a traditional grocer and Costco or Walmart isn’t always enough to justify shopping at two separate stores. Also, with a rise in traditional grocers expanding their discount stores, those price points aren’t necessarily even lower at the bigger stores.
Additionally, traditional grocers’ loyalty programs continue to be appealing to consumers, those looking for additional ways to save or get more from their groceries. When shopping at a traditional store can add up to free groceries, that’s an attractive motivator.
With traditional grocers now getting hit on all fronts, with a combined attack from both giants such as Walmart and Costco and ecommerce, it should be no surprise that a renewed defence has been the result.
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