Victory the Only Option for Hannaford in Massachusetts
By George Anderson
Rick Meyerkopf, Hannaford Bros. central division vice president of retail operations, said it all. ‘Hannaford is committed to becoming a major player in Massachusetts.”
The Delhaize division is now the fifth largest grocery retailer in the state having passed Whole Foods, Roche Bros. and Price Chopper in the past year. This weekend Hannaford will open its two biggest stores in Mass., according to a report in The Boston Globe.
Hannaford’s Meyerkopf believes the EDLP operator can achieve even greater market share and success in Mass. Acknowledging the intense competition that exists in the market, he said, “We feel like we have a compelling offer.”
Mike Berger, editor of the Griffin Report of Food Marketing, said, ‘Delhaize sees growth in this market and feels Hannaford is the right one to expand that can compete against Stop & Shop (the market leader) and others on price and product.”
Supervalu’s acquisition of Shaw’s, a major competitor in Mass., may further impact the competitive environment. Many industry watchers believe that Shaw’s will only improve its performance as a member of the Supervalu portfolio of retail banners.
Part of the allure of Mass. is the relatively low numbers of Wal-Mart Supercenters in the densely populated areas of the state.
“We wanted to make sure as Wal-Mart expands that we have our act together,” said Hannaford’s Meyerkopf. ‘Because when Wal-Mart comes to an area we’re in, we lose at least five percent percent of sales in the first year.”
Moderator’s Comment: What is your assessment of the grocery market in Massachusetts? –
George Anderson – Moderator