Snapshots

Supermarkets expanding and experimenting to capture Philadelphia’s growing consumer base

Despite decades of sustained population and household income growth, Greater Center City remained remarkably underserved by grocers until very recently.

December 11, 2019
  • Despite decades of sustained population and household income growth, Greater Center City remained remarkably underserved by grocers until very recently. The shift began in 2016, when Whole Foods shuttered its original store to open a 62,000 square foot flagship. That store is one of a dozen new arrivals, including seven grocers and five Target locations with major grocery components, that have raced to fill the void, opening more than 300,000 square feet of new space in three years. Another half dozen stores totaling more than 175,000 square feet are in various stages of development with anticipated openings in 2020 and 2021 in previously underserved neighborhoods such as Mantua, Graduate Hospital, Queen Village, and North Broad. 
  • The new supermarket landscape includes first locations from out-of-market brands (MOM’s Organic, Sprouts, Lidl), expansions of brands with an existing presence (Trader Joe’s, Aldi), and new urban concepts from suburban operators (Giant).
  • Each brand relies on a different strength to retain and grow market share: some compete on cost, such as Aldi and Lidl, while others attempt to top Whole Foods by providing lifestyle amenities (notably, the basement bar and game room at the Heirloom Northern Liberties).  For city supermarkets to succeed, all of them must be able to convince shoppers to continue shopping for groceries the old-fashioned way instead of leaning into online grocery and meal delivery apps and services. 

Source: JLL Research

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