Bruno’s Giving Ground To Supercenters

Mar 01, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Bruno’s may be Birmingham, Alabama’s hometown grocery business but that isn’t keeping shoppers from going over to Wal-Mart’s Supercenters to do their shopping.

According to The Shelby Report, Bruno’s holds the largest market share in Birmingham with 27.6 percent of the market, but it is rapidly giving ground to Wal-Mart, which
grew its share of the business by 2.6 percent last year.

The problems Bruno’s has had in its core market are behind the decision by Ahold to sell the chain.

Mark Hughsam, a grocery analyst with Morningstar Inc., told the Birmingham Business Journal, “They don’t necessarily have what is considered a trophy property, a dominant
market player gaining share. Whoever buys them has to compete with Wal-Mart and Publix.”

Bruno’s general manager Bruce Efird isn’t downplaying any loss in market share but doesn’t think it will have a major impact on the price the company fetches. “I don’t think
losing one point or two in market share would impact the value of the company,” he said. “There are multiple factors a buyer looks at, market share being just one of them.”

Moderator’s Comment: What will the new owner of Bruno’s need to do to turn the chain’s
fortunes around?

Publix has been the name mentioned most often as a possible suitor for Bruno’s. The Birmingham Business Journal piece also mentioned Kroger as a candidate.
Anderson – Moderator

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