THERE'S A NEW MARKET-share leader in Las Vegas, and it's Wal-Mart.
With 15 supercenters and 11 Neighborhood Markets, Wal-Mart has a 19.7% share, compared with 18.8% a year ago, according to the most recent data from Metro Market Studies, Tucson, Ariz.
Kroger-owned Smith's Food & Drug Centers, whose local combination stores are considered the conventional price-leader there, is No. 2, with share of 18.5%, compared with 18.9% last year.
However, when Smith's share is combined with the 6.5% market share controlled by Food 4 Less (down from 6.9% last year), Cincinnati-based Kroger controls the largest share in Las Vegas, with 25%.
Supervalu-owned Albertsons — which was No. 1 last year in Las Vegas, with a 20.5% market share — has tumbled to No. 3, with a 17.9% share, as a result of what one observer said is a general perception that its stores are high-priced.
Supervalu had converted six of the Albertsons stores in low-income Hispanic neighborhoods to the Lucky banner, but all six are shutting their doors and being sold to area independents, he added.
The chain that is apparently benefiting most from consumer attitudes toward Albertsons is Vons, a division of Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway.
Vons has also helped its own cause the last few months, the observer said, by heating up its ads with multi-price offers.
Vons' market share dropped slightly this year to 10.1% from 10.4% a year ago. Nevertheless, according to the observer, Vons has probably been the most successful chain in Las Vegas at holding its customer base.
Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets, which grew from 11 stores last year to 26 today, has seen its market share increase to 3.3% from 1.1%. Las Vegas is the ideal market for Fresh & Easy, one local observer told SN.
“That small-store format is really best suited for retirees or young singles, of which there are a lot in Las Vegas, or people who get off work late from the hotels and clubs and want to run in and be able to buy a ready-to-eat meal,” he explained.
Fresh & Easy has another nine sites in development in the market.
Las Vegas is primarily an independents' market, with a heavily Hispanic and, to a large degree, Filipino demographic — the ethnic groups that fill service positions at the hotels and other tourist-related businesses.
Several Hispanic companies out of Southern California operate multi-store locations in Las Vegas, totaling approximately 20 stores combined, one observer pointed out.
Though Kroger-owned Food 4 Less generally caters to a lower-income Hispanic clientele, the large number of Hispanic-owned- and -operated stores in Las Vegas puts pressure on Food 4 Less, one observer said, noting that the discount format appears to be “straddling the fence” in terms of seeking to appeal to both Hispanic consumers and low-income Anglos.
|RETAILER||STORES||MARKET SHARE '09||MARKET SHARE '08|
|WM Supercenter, N. Market||26||19.7||18.8|
|Smith's Food & Drug||31||18.5||18.9|
|Food 4 Less||15||6.5||6.9|
|Tesco Fresh & Easy||26||3.3||1.1|
|Whole Foods Market||4||2.4||2.6|
|Smart & Final||7||1.5||1.6|
|Buy Low Market||4||1.2||N/A|
Includes Clark County.
SOURCE: Metro Market Studies