Acme Reclaims Market Share

Mar 15, 2002

Acme Markets Inc. may have stopped the decline in market share that has plagued the Philadelphia region’s largest grocery-store chain for more than a decade, according to an executive at its parent company. Peter Lynch, president and chief operating officer of Albertson’s Inc., says that, as Acme stores have been renovated and expanded, the group’s share of the supermarket pie in the Philadelphia area increased in its fiscal fourth quarter ended January 31. Lynch ran the Acme division in the late 1990s when American Stores Inc., which Albertson purchased in 1999, owned it.

Acme operates 142 stores in the Mid-Atlantic states, including 95 in the Philadelphia
area and South Jersey. Acme had about 38 percent of the market in 1991, but
that had slipped to about 28.4 percent in 1996 and to 25.8 percent in 2001 in
the Philadelphia-South Jersey area, according to Food Trade News, an
industry publication that covers the Mid-Atlantic region. Acme believes it has
about 28.3 percent of the market share in the Philadelphia area and South Jersey,
based on recent survey research data, reports Acme spokesman Walt Rubel.

Moderator Comment: Should Albertson’s continue with
the Acme banner or change all stores over to the Albertson’s brand?

It has been suggested here that Kmart might be better
off by replacing itself with a new brand name as it attempts to emerge from
Chapter 11. Acme is certainly a big piece of the grocery retailing pie in its
operating area. There are very good reasons. However, the chain was losing share
for many years. For many consumers, the Acme Markets brand has come to mean
old, dirty stores. Perhaps Albertson’s should do in the Philly/South Jersey
market what it did in California with Lucky Stores.[George
Anderson – Moderator

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