Independent grocery stores are performing marginally better this year compared to 2011, but larger retail chains are continuing to struggle with sales declines, said Donald Weiss.
He said stores closer to lower income areas or those experiencing population loss are typically not performing as well as those in higher growth areas in terms of income and population.
During the throes of the recession, Weiss said shoppers tended to buy more inexpensive foods and shop at stores with lower price points. Since the economy has improved, retail grocery segments that appeal to people with higher levels of income are doing better. He said more people are interested in fresh meats and produce, natural or organic products, and items that appeal to dietary restrictions such as those that are gluten-free.
Regardless of where shoppers fall on the income spectrum, Weiss said all people are benefiting from food price inflation being low.