Albertsons and Kroger Geographic Market Analysis

Max Bahar
Author: Max Bahar
 
Maptitude is a great tool for conducting market research. In this article, we explore the competition between two major U.S. grocery store brands: Kroger and Albertsons.

The market analysis was conducted using both the parent brand locations and subsidiary brand locations located on the U.S. mainland (excludes Hawaii and Alaska).

For Albertsons, this included Acme Markets, Albertsons, Albertsons Market, Amigos, Andronico's, Balducci's, Carrs, Haggen Food & Pharmacy, Jewel-Osco, Kings Super Markets, Lucky by Albertsons, Market Street, PAK'nSAVE, Pavilions, Randalls, Safeway, Shaw's, Star Market, Tom Thumb, United Supermarkets, and Vons.

For Kroger, this included Baker's, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Foods Co, Fred Meyer, Fry's, Gerbes, Harris Teeter, Jay C, King Soopers, Kroger, Mariano's Fresh Market, Metro Market, Pay Less, Pick 'n Save, QFC, Ralphs, Ruler, and Smith's.

Using the Maptitude density analysis tool, we can visualize the geographic concentration of Kroger-owned and Albertsons-owned grocery stores in the country. The resulting density map shows significant footprint overlap between the two groups. However, there are areas where one group has more locations than the other. Kroger has a large footprint in the Southeastern portion of the U.S., while Albertsons do not have any locations there. On the other hand, Albertsons has a larger presence in the Northwestern and Northeastern areas of the U.S. compared to Kroger.

Two maps showing the concentration of Kroger-owned and Albertsons-owned grocery stores across the United States

Areas in darker red indicate concentrations of Albertsons (e.g., San Francisco, Philadelphia, Lubbock), areas in darker blue indicate concentrations of Kroger (e.g., Houston, Atlanta, Detroit), and areas in purple indicate where there is overlap between the two stores (e.g., Los Angeles, Dallas, Washington DC).

Using the 2020 US Census data included with Maptitude, we can run a buffer analysis which indicates that the estimated population within a 5-mile radius for all Albertsons locations is 121,124,719 (or 36.8% of the total U.S. mainland population), for all Kroger locations is 139,063,238 (or 42.2% of the total U.S. mainland population), and for both Albertsons and Kroger locations is 184,238,217 (or 56.0% of the total U.S. mainland population).

According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average household traveled 3.80 miles to their primary grocery. But, the combined Albertsons and Kroger footprint calculated in Maptitude captures only 56% of the U.S. mainland population within a 5-mile radius. So, it seems that even combined these stores are not currently serving half of Americans.

Similarly, we can run a drive-time analysis to estimate the population in a 15-minute drive-time radius for Albertsons and Kroger locations. We find that the estimated population in a 15-minute radius for all Albertsons locations is 124,552,286 (or 37.8% of the total U.S. mainland population), for all Kroger locations is 146,835,469 (or 44.6% of the total U.S. mainland population), and for both Albertsons and Kroger locations is 192,249,913 (or 58.4% of the total U.S. mainland population).

Using Consumer Expenditure data that are available to Maptitude users for free, we can generate a box plot that examines the expenditure on groceries around the two groups’ locations. The box plot shows that Kroger locates in areas with lower expenditure on groceries.

Boxplot comparing grocery expenditures in Kroger and Albertsons locations

Furthermore, the Geodemographic Segmentation data show that Kroger and Albertsons target only some of the same types of people. Significant overlap occurs in the "Settled and Content", "High Earning Families", and "Bloomers" populations.

Maptitude is widely used to support business analytics to improve the marketing, sales, and operations of retail organizations. If you have Maptitude, you can try a comparative analysis using the steps outlined in this Maptitude Learning Portal article.

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