retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Twin Cities Business has a piece about the burgeoning supermarket competition in the Minneapolis/St. Paul marketplace. Established area retailers such as Lunds/Byerly's, Kowalski's, Trader Joe's, Cub Foods and Whole Foods continue to grow. Plus Hy-Vee is coming to town later this year, and there are smaller players with their eyes on the market, including Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, Lucky’s Market and Earth Fare.

"Three factors appear to be fueling the recent feeding frenzy," the story says. "First is that the region had a slight shortage of stores compared with national averages ... Second is a national trend for shoppers to spread their loyalty around. In 2014, 9 percent of shoppers indicated they had no single regular grocery store—triple that of recent years, according to the Food Marketing Institute’s (FMI) 2014 Grocery Shopper Trends Report. The trend is driven by changing shopping patterns of millennials."

Third, the story says, "is a convergence of demographic, employment, housing and values changes in recent years. The result: Despite ever-busier lifestyles, more grocery shoppers purchase what they need for the day, or the next day, instead of for a week or two at a time. They’re also looking for more perishable fresh produce and healthy pre-made foods they can buy and eat on location."

The upshot: to some degree, many shoppers are in play every day, subject to being lured by the retailer that best identifies - and proves - itself to be relevant to their needs.
KC's View:
I had a chance to spend some time in Minneapolis/St. Paul not that long ago, and I have to say that some of the stores I saw there were among the best I've ever seen ... and I suspect that the really good operators there are only going to get better with new competition. It is going to be a great time to be a consumer in the Twin Cities.