How Walmart became America’s largest grocer
Sky-high grocery bills are inflicting pain at the supermarket checkout counter. In an effort to stretch their dollars, a growing number of Americans are turning to Walmart.
The Arkansas-based retailer is America’s largest grocer, more than twice the size of its next-biggest competitor as it takes in more than one in four grocery dollars in the U.S., according to KeyBanc Capital Markets.
Walmart’s low prices are also resonating with high-income consumers, who made up about half the company’s market share gains in food in the fiscal quarter that ended in January.
“When we think about the grocery landscape over the next five and 10 years, we see increasingly middle America and affluent America shifting some of their shopping basket over to Walmart,” said Brad Thomas, managing director in consumer and retail at KeyBanc Capital Markets.
Though many Americans have turned to Walmart for relief from higher prices, the retailer’s shoppers aren’t immune to inflation. The retailer has taken steps to offset some price increases. It said beginning Nov. 1, it would “remove inflation” on some traditional Thanksgiving meal items, offering them at a lower price than last year.
But with inflation cooling and prices leveling off, will Walmart be able to hang on to its newly acquired shoppers?
CNBC looks into Walmart’s grocery business to see why even more Americans might be buying food from the company in the future.