Special Report

The Biggest Grocery Store Chains in North America

Estimates vary, but by most accounts, there are more than 60,000 grocery stores in the U.S., about 15,000 in Canada, and roughly 3,200 in Mexico (where much food shopping is done in local bazaar-style markets rather than supermarkets).  At least two-thirds of these, in the U.S., at any rate, are major chains – either regional powerhouses like H-E-B in Texas or Wegman’s in the Northeast or national operations like Kroger or Albertsons, which do business under numerous brand names.

The majority of retail food purveyors, not surprisingly, are concentrated in three of our four largest states – New York (13,077 grocery stores), California (10,595), and Florida (5,234). (See the most popular grocery store chain in every state.)

To compile a list of the 25 leading food and grocery retailers by sales volume in North America – the majority of which are in the U.S. – 24/7 Tempo reviewed a report conducted by Progressive Grocer, a retail food industry magazine. Published in May 2022, the report covers the 2020 fiscal year (July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020) and the 2021 fiscal year (July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021). Figures have been rounded, and don’t include the projected results of any pending mergers or acquisitions. 

Note that companies don’t always break out food sales from sales of pharmacy items and other goods, so this list reflects the most successful retailers who sell food and grocery products, not necessarily those who have the highest sales of food and groceries 

Click here to see the 25 leading food and grocery retailers in North America

Some of the biggest food retailers in North America, it turns out, aren’t what we think of as grocery store chains at all – they’re big box stores selling merchandise of many kinds or drugstore operations. Of the ten highest-grossing chains, seven fall into this category – Walmart, Amazon, Costco, the Walgreens Boots Alliance, Target, CVS Health, and Sam’s Club. (Here are 32 cult favorite items at Costco.)

In fact, Walmart is the king of them all – the continent’s No. 1 food and grocery retailer by a long shot, recording sales almost three times higher than those of the highest ranked conventional grocery chain (Kroger).

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