July 1, 2013
Kroger is dominating the battle for grocery store sales in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, according to a new report from the trade magazine, Food World.
The report says the three Kroger stores in the city and county have double the sales of their nearest competition.
Kevin Brooks, a Kroger regular, says he shops at the store at the Barracks Road Shopping Center about twice a month.
"It's close and the prices are pretty good," Brooks said.
"I like their organic produce prices," said Lorenna Schneehagen, another Kroger shopper. "They have lower prices on their staples."
The report examines grocery sales between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013. During that time, according to Food World, the three Kroger stores in the city and county had $104.2 million in sales. Harris Teeter came in second, with $56.4 million at three stores. Food Lion was third with $41.7 million at four stores.
Schneehagen says she also chooses Kroger because of the community benefits.
"The point system that they have for my son's swim team is awesome," she said. "For every dollar I spend, three percent goes to his fundraising."
The report is also giving an initial look at sales at The Fresh Market, the newest grocery store in the area. Fresh Market opened in February in Albemarle Square.
According to Food World, the store is generating a little more than $1 million a month in sales. Multiplied over the course of the year, that would put the store at tenth in the area for sales, just behind Target ($13.5 million) and Walmart ($14.6 million) and well behind a similar store like Whole Foods ($20.6 million).
"They have a lot of selection," said Colleen Gresham, a first-time Fresh Market shopper. "But what they don't have, they don't have."
Gresham says Fresh Market is worth the trip for some of the things on her grocery list.
"When it comes to meats, especially seafood, chicken, and fruits, I really like fresh," Gresham said.
Trader Joe's was not included on Food World's report. Representatives say they overlooked the store, and they will include it in their next report.