Natural Competition Grows in Charlotte
By George Anderson
Charlotte, N.C. is getting pretty crowded with grocery store choices. Of course, there are all the “traditional” supermarkets, with Harris-Teeter, Food Lion, etc., and the market has warehouse clubs, supercenters, convenience stores and all varieties of other formats that sell mac and cheese, soft drinks and other items to drive store traffic.
Charlotte is also a growing market for retailers catering to consumers of natural goods and organic foods. Whole Foods plans to open its first store in the market within the next two years.
An Asheville-based chain, Earth Fare is opening a new 27,000 square-foot natural foods store with a full-service butcher, a gourmet deli/restaurant, artisan cheese shop, wine and beer department, and other features this week.
According to a report in the Charlotte Observer, all products sold in the store adhere to Earth Fare’s guidelines including no trans fats or artificial sweeteners. The store offers a range of products for vegetarian consumers and those looking to eat foods that do not contain gluten.
Moderator’s Comment: What do you see as the most competitive grocer markets in the country? Why?
What’s going on in Charlotte is not unique. Take a growing market, add new competitors (Whole Foods) while seeing old ones expand (Harris-Teeter, Food Lion,
Wal-Mart, etc.) and watch the competition heat up. As is the law of retailing, the strong will survive and the weak will go by the wayside. –
George Anderson – Moderator