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There are two to three times as many grocery stores as the country "needs," Jim Hertel, vice president of retailing consulting firm Willard Bishop, tells Ashley Gurbal Kritzer of the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Hertel's firm is predicting a contraction in stores and square feet for the industry. "From office supplies to clothing and accessories, retailers across the spectrum have shuttered physical storefronts in recent years to concentrate on their best-performing locations and online sales," Grubal Kritzer writes.
The thinking goes that, as online retailers like Amazon gain steam in the grocery category and big box stores like Target move in, long-time grocers like Publix and Kroger may look to close their lower performing stores. Another reason for closings among some traditional grocery retailers, says Grubal Kritzer, is the expansion of smaller discount chains like Aldi and Lidl.