The Lion’s Share of Food is Dwindling

Feb 10, 2003

By George Anderson

Food Lion’s share of the grocery market in North Carolina dropped 2.51 percent last year according to The Shelby Report.

Although the chain remains the number one food retailer in the state with a 32.8 percent share, others such as Wal-Mart, Harris Teeter and Lowes Food Stores are gaining.

Wal-Mart, in particular, has gained share at Food Lion’s expense. Wal-Mart’s share of the North Carolina grocery market is now at 11 percent, up 3.24 percent from 2001.

Jeff Lowrance, a Food Lion spokesman, told the Charlotte Business Journal, “What we are seeing is that instead of families buying their week’s groceries at one store, they are looking at it more on an item-by-item basis and shopping multiple stores looking for sales.”

Moderator’s Comment: What does Food Lion have to do
to differentiate itself in a market with Wal-Mart, Harris Teeter and Lowes Foods?

Food Lion has always positioned itself as offering the
lowest grocery prices. This has served the chain well, having provided a distinct
point of difference between Food Lion and its grocery store competitors, Harris
Teeter and Lowes Foods.

Now, however, consumers are increasingly looking to Wal-Mart
as the operator with the lowest prices. If Food Lion can’t win a price war with
Wal-Mart or compete with Harris Teeter’s and Lowes’ service and selection, where
does it go? [George
Anderson – Moderator

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