Grocery Stores are Shrinking

For years, the sizes of grocery stores have grown increasingly to provide a greater variety to the consumer. Andrew Martin explains why retailers have now begun opening smaller stores instead.
September 11, 2008, 5am PDT | Judy Chang
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"The idea is to lure time-starved shoppers who want to pick up a few items or a fast meal without wandering long grocery aisles or paying restaurant prices."

"The opening of smaller stores upends a long-running trend in the grocery business: building ever-larger stores in the belief that consumers want choice above all. While the largest traditional grocery stores tend to be about 85,000 square feet, some cavernous warehouse-style stores and supercenters are two or three times that size.

Statistics compiled by the Food Marketing Institute show that the average size of a grocery store dipped slightly in 2007 - to a median of 47,500 square feet - after 20 years of steady growth."

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Published on Tuesday, September 9, 2008 in The New York Times
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