NORTHBROOK, Ill. — U.S. supermarkets gained market share against warehouse clubs and superstores in 2012, according to a study released Thursday by DSR Marketing System.

The study, based on government statistics, showed that supermarkets in 2012 captured 59.3% of grocery sales — up from 58.9% in 2011, while warehouse clubs and supercenters saw their share decline from 23.2% to 22.6% over the same period. This reflects the impact of fast-growing food retail concepts including Aldi, Kroger, Publix, Wegmans, WinCo and Whole Foods as well as closures at superstore chains like Kmart, and slower relative growth of warehouse clubs, DSR said.

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“The challenges facing clubs and supercenters in the U.S. are not, however, simply operator-specific,” DSR noted. “Rather, they reflect societal and technology mega-trends which are also evident in European retailing.

"Beginning with the original hypermarkets, such as Auchan and Carrefour, in the 1960s, the large-format stores were designed to serve young, growing families eager to bulk-buy both foods and non-foods and save money,” the report continued. “They still fulfill this role in growth economies such as Brazil, China, and the [United Arab Emirates]. However, with aging populations, this market segment is shrinking with older shoppers — who generally dislike large stores — turning to small store formats.”

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