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Grocery wars to continue in 2014

The battle for your shopping dollar will rage on in 2014, according to a top retail real estate brokerage, development and property management firm.

Supermarkets will dominate aggressive retail development in Houston over the next year, representing half of 2014’s retail growth with 28 new grocery stores planned, reports Houston-based Wulfe & Co.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • San Antonio-based HEB will open five.
  • Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) will open three and expand one.
  • Austin-based Whole Foods Market Inc. (Nasdaq: WFM) will complete four.
  • California-based Trader Joe’s will add two.
  • North-Carolina-based The Fresh Market (NYSE: TFM) will add two.
  • Houston-based Fiesta Mart Inc. will open one.
  • Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market (Nasdaq: SFM) will open one.
  • Illinois-based Aldi Inc. will add 10.

Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) holds 25.5 percent of the greater Houston grocery market with 83 stores. Kroger comes in second with 108 stores, and HEB comes in third with 79 stores, according to The Shelby Report, a food and grocery industry publication.

Wulfe & Co.’s annual survey shows that in 2014 large discount stores will continue to expand with two new Walmart Supercenters planned as well as one new Costco and one new Sam’s Club, all with large food components.

New retail shopping center space to be built and opened in the greater Houston area this year will increase 34 percent over the previous year, representing an additional 2.6 million square feet of new retail buildings, reports Wulfe & Co.

The expansion is a result of Houston’s strong job growth, with the addition of about 82,000 new jobs during the past 12 months and a projected 70,000 new jobs for 2014, Wulfe & Co. said.

Houston’s grocery wars ignited in 2012, but  newcomers really turned up the heat in 2013. And the battle moves forward.

Jenny Aldridge – Reporter – Houston Business Journal

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