Chart courtesy dunnhumby

H-E-B leads dunnhumby’s latest list of top U.S. grocery retailers for 2020, taking over the top spot from two-time winner Trader Joe’s.

Rounding out the top five were Amazon, Market Basket and Wegmans, according to dunnhumby’s report on its Retailer Preference Index study, which takes into account shopper evaluations and financial performance. The seven “pillars” considered are price, quality, digital, operations, convenience, discount/rewards and speed.

Costco, Aldi, Sam’s Club, Walmart and Publix also made the top 10. WinCo Foods, Fresh Thyme, Sprouts and ShopRite rounded out the list.

“One of the most important findings is that leading traditional regional grocers are experiencing a resurgence in customer preference by winning with relevance and convenience,” Jose Gomes, president of North America for dunnhumby, said in a news release. “If they can compete on price and quality — the value core for grocers — they are especially well-positioned to fend off the growing threat of non-traditional players.

“This also leaves them better insulated against an economic downturn,” Gomes said. “In the end, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to winning in this market, and retailers with customer-first strategies are most likely to fare best.”

The firm mentioned convenience again later as another of the study’s key findings.

“Convenience has grown more in importance than any other customer need, due to the efforts of traditional grocers,” dunnhumby wrote in its report. “While still not as important as price or quality, its impact on emotional bond and financial performance has doubled the past three years. Assortment relevance is also becoming a more powerful lever for driving convenience.”


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