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London-based retail consultancy Planet Retail recently released a list of 10 North American "retailers to watch in 2010."
According to the company, the "hot list" includes both national and regional grocers it believes are poised for growth either as a result of acquisition, organic growth or the introduction of a successful new format.
The 10 companies include Ahold, Price Chopper, Delhaize, WinCo, Dollar General, ALDI, Save-A-Lot (Supervalu), Tops Markets, H-E-B and The Market by Safeway.
According to Planet Retail, 2010 is likely to bring further retail consolidation on a regional scale as local players move to strengthen their positions. However, it said, mergers and acquisitions activity also will be driven by Europe-based grocers with a presence in the United States. In terms of organic expansion opportunities, regional grocers such as H-E-B and WinCo are most likely to lead while national players focus on remodeling existing stores.
Planet Retail also noted that the discount sector is poised for a boom in North America, led by dollar stores, Save-A-Lot and ALDI. It also expects to see more experimentation with small-box formats this year, although nationwide roll-outs by U.S. retailers likely will take years rather than months.
Among the key retailer trends Planet Retail predicts for 2010 is continued success for private label, although perhaps in a different form. It also foresees consumer packaged goods suppliers, forced off the shelves by SKU rationalization, taking their products directly to consumers. Other trends to watch include continued emphasis on cost-cutting to shore up the bottom line and the impact of increasingly tech-savvy consumers.
For more information or to purchase a copy of the "10 to Watch" report, visit http://www.planetretail.net.