Largest Grocery Chains in the U.S., Ranked by Revenue Earnings
Today, grocery chains are within reach of most Americans, either via a short drive or, increasingly, a short walk from home. Unsurprisingly, the business of groceries has consolidated over the years, with corporations gobbling up competitors as fast as they can. (After all, it’s often said that “the business of America is business.”)
There may be fewer choices when it comes to supermarkets, but they still have to put their best foot forward to entice an increasingly choosy — and health-conscious — public. While supporting your local independent grocer is always encouraged, you’re here to learn about the biggest grocery chains in the country, ranked by annual revenue.
Headquartered: Chicago, Illinois
No. of stores: 763
Year opened: 1926
2022 revenue: $2 billion
What Makes IGA So Popular
The Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA) came online nearly a century ago as a way to help small family operations come together under one organization. They’re clearly doing something right, as IGA has opened stores coast to coast and around the world.
The alliance also offers some great ideas for home-based meals (with IGA-purchased ingredients, natch), including this rather scrumptious-looking elixir of beef and broccoli. And with some $2 billion annually in revenue, the word “independent” certainly means something different these days.
29. Save Mart Supermarkets
Headquartered: Modesto, California
No. of stores: 204
Year opened: 1952
2022 revenue: $4.6 billion
What Makes Save Mart So Popular
Modesto is located in the heart of California’s San Joaquin Valley, which stretches for 500 miles and grows much of the food that is shipped around the country. But what about people who live and work there? Save Mart opened up in 1952, with its customer base often consisting of farmers and seasonal workers, many of whom were barely scraping by.
The Save Mart franchise is doing grand business today, with subsidiary chains including Lucky California, MaxxValue and FoodMaxx — which sound an awful lot like casino games, right?
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27. Smart & Final (Tie)
Headquartered: Los Angeles, California
No. of stores: 255
Year opened: 1871
2022 revenue: $4.7 billion
What Makes Smart & Final So Popular
If you’ve ever worked in Hollywood, you’ve probably met a line producer in possession of a Smart & Final loyalty card. The line producer is the guy or gal in charge of the production’s money — i.e., the person who sends a lowly production assistant out to buy snacks and sodas to keep the office drones moving on those brutal 16-hour days. Bulk is the name of the game at Smart & Final, which is why their wares stock so many Tinseltown refrigerators.
How do I know any of this? Well, I used to be the PA who did that very shopping! Now, I get to write about it to keep you “entertained.”
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27. Save A Lot (Tie)
Headquartered: Saint Ann, Missouri
No. of stores: 1,280
Year opened: 1977
2022 revenue: $4.7 billion
What Makes Save A Lot So Popular
Bill Moran had a simple idea: What if he could draw some business away from the big boys on the grocery block? Accordingly, he threw open the doors of his first Save A Lot in Cahokia, Illinois, in 1977, and by the time he retired in 2006, well, his little gamble had paid off handsomely.
Today, Save A Lot is the corporate parent (or “business daddy,” as John Oliver likes to say) to such recognizable grocery brands as Piggly Wiggly, Big Star and Mad Butcher — the latter possibly run by the Mad Hatter’s brother or something.
26. Stater Bros. Markets
Headquartered: San Bernardino, California
No. of stores: 171
Year opened: 1936
2022 revenue: $5.2 billion
What Makes Stater Bros. Markets So Popular
Twin brothers Cleo and Leo Stater purchased their first store in Yucaipa, California, with a mere $600 as a down payment. The brothers soldiered on, figuratively and literally, as they served during the Second World War, leaving their fledgling business back home in capable hands.
Today, Stater Bros. is known as a friendly place to stock up on groceries, and just a few years ago, it was named one of the “best places to shop for groceries” in the country. Not bad for two siblings with a $600 initial investment.
25. Ingles Markets
Headquartered: Asheville, North Carolina
No. of stores: 197
Year opened: 1963
2022 revenue: $5.8 billion
What Ingles Markets So Popular
Robert Ingle was born into the grocery business, but in 1963, he opted to strike out on his own and founded his own store. Before he was 30, Ingle had opened up a 10,000-square-foot shop and was off and running to becoming a major player throughout the South.
As with many other grocers, Ingles found new footing in the internet age, offering online recipes that make your shopping trips there that much more rewarding.
24. Sprouts Farmers Market
Headquartered: Phoenix, Arizona
No. of stores: 362
Year opened: 2002
2022 revenue: $6.4 billion
What Makes Sprouts So Popular
You don’t need a long history in the grocer game to be successful. Just ask the good folks at Sprouts, which has taken a rather healthy bite out of the organic, keto and paleo diet pie. Unsurprisingly, they retail quite a lot of kale and tofu in such crunchy-granola states as California, but the grocery chain is also enjoying rather substantial success in Texas and Florida as well.
And for those clueless people out there who have no idea what to do in the kitchen, Sprouts even offers how-to guides for some healthy meal options once you’re home with your shopping bags. Phew!
23. Giant Eagle
Headquartered: O’Hara Township, Pennsylvania
No. of stores: 474
Year opened: 1931
2022 revenue: $8.9 billion
What Makes Giant Eagle So Popular
Proving that strength in numbers is as true in business as in battle, five families combined their forces in 1931 to form the Giant Eagle grocery business. The corporation toughed it out during the Great Depression and the Second World War and now operates nearly 500 stores, primarily in the greater Pittsburgh area.
Today, you can pick up veggies, meats and fruits at one of the many brands that fall under Giant Eagle’s “giant” umbrella, including GetGo, Market District and Ricker’s.
22. Southeastern Grocers
Headquartered: Jacksonville, Florida
No. of stores: 523
Year opened: 2013
2022 revenue: $10 billion
What Makes Southeastern Grocers So Popular
Consolidation, mergers, acquisitions … oh my! Thanks to integrating several grocers throughout the South, Southeastern Grocers is raking in $10 billion annually, which is pretty impressive considering the umbrella group has only existed for a decade.
Under the Southern Grocers aegis, grocer brands such as Harveys, Winn-Dixie, Fresco Y Mas and Bi-Lo continue to retail all manner of foodie goodness. Well done, y’all!
Headquartered: West Des Moines, Iowa
No. of stores: 265
Year opened: 1930
2022 revenue: $12 billion
What Makes Hy-Vee So Popular
Hy-Vee is another Midwest-founded grocery store chain that has done rather well for itself over 80-plus years. Today, fans of the chain are rather vocal about their love for Hy-Vee, with the Courier Journal reporting that customers rave about such staples as Hy-Vee’s bratwursts made in-house.
And if you go shopping there on Tuesdays, be sure to take advantage of the $4.99 New York strip steak. Actually, get two. Nah, three!
20. Trader Joe’s
Headquartered: Monrovia, California
No. of stores: 561
Year opened: 1967
2022 revenue: $13.3 billion
What Makes Trader Joe’s So Popular
Where do hipsters shop? If you answered anything other than Trader Joe’s, sorry, you’re not in the club. (It’s OK, nor am I.) TJ’s has expanded well beyond its West Coast origins and now operates in 43 states and the District of Columbia.
In addition to the “cool” factor, TJ’s is renowned for its quality ingredients, friendly staff and positive business environment — plus that ubiquitous “ding ding” of the bell when someone on the payroll is asked to help a customer with his or her groceries. And despite coming under recent fire due to some arguably insensitive product names, Trader Joe’s is still going strong.
Now you know; now you’re cool.
19. Wakefern Food Corporation
Headquartered: Keasbey, New Jersey
No. of stores: 354
Year opened: 1946
2022 revenue: $18.6 billion
What Makes Wakefern Food Corporation So Popular
While the rather large corporation Wakefern might not sound familiar, some of the grocery store chains it owns would certainly ring a bell. Ever plunked down some of your paycheck at Shop-Rite? Wakefern-owned. Price Rite? Wakefern again. Ditto other big-time grocers such as Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market.
Wakefern’s stores sell groceries throughout the Northeast, and Price Rite outlets are especially known for their rotisserie chicken and ready-made pastas.
18. Amazon Physical Stores (Including Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh)
Headquartered: Seattle, Washington
No. of stores: 609
Year opened: 2007
2022 revenue: $18.96 billion
What Makes Amazon So Popular
As if Amazon hadn’t already ruined bookstores, shopping malls, record boutiques and health supplement businesses, the goliath of consumption got in on the grocery action in 2007 as well. Jeff Bezos has opened more than 600 Amazon grocery stores since, which somehow don’t offer Amazon Prime subscriptions with every purchase. (Jeff, call me!)
The about $19 billion in cash flow in 2022 isn’t bad for this “small” Amazon operation, but it pales in comparison to the firm’s overall take-home of $514 billion in the same fiscal year. So, what have you done lately?
17. Meijer Inc.
Headquartered: Grand Rapids, Michigan
No. of stores: 258
Year opened: 1934
2022 revenue: $20.5 billion
What Makes Meijer So Popular
If you’re in the Midwest, you likely have shopped rather recently at the family-owned Meijer chain of grocery stores. Dutch immigrant Hendrik Meijer opened up his first store in Greenville, Michigan, during the Great Depression, and today, the chain operates over 250 locations throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.
Meijer is a perfect spot to stock up on party foods — especially if you're craving two dozen hot dog buns at 2 a.m., as many of its locations are open 24 hours. Hendrik Meijer would be proud of you.
Headquartered: Boise, Idaho
No. of stores: 2,278
Year opened: 1939
2022 revenue: $22 billion
What Makes Albertsons So Popular
Joe Albertson opened up shop at his eponymous store at 16th and State streets in Idaho’s capital city in 1939, mostly with borrowed money … and without an apostrophe. Albertsons has since gone gangbusters, and its corporation now oversees many other well-known grocery chains, including Vons, Safeway, Jewel-Osco, Acme and Tom Thumb.
Still, walking into an Albertsons today feels like a small operation as you amble up to the deli for some fresh sliced turkey. Here’s to you, Joe.
15. Rite Aid
Headquartered: Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
No. of stores: 2,244
Year opened: 1962
2022 revenue: $24 billion
What Makes Rite Aid So Popular
One doesn’t typically think of pharmacies as “grocery” stores, but considering how large the Rite Aid brand is, it’s not surprising to learn that, in addition to their healthcare products, they retail in quite a bit of foodstuff as well. Think about it: Last time you were at Rite Aid to get your pills refilled, you also stocked up on Doritos, beers, chocolate and a bag of salad for “health.” Just me? Oh.
Despite a canceled merger with Walgreens in 2015, Rite Aid remains a one-stop shop for pharmaceutical and grocery needs.
14. Dollar Tree
Headquartered: Chesapeake, Virginia
No. of stores: 16,157
Year opened: 1986
2022 revenue: $26 billion
What Makes Dollar Tree So Popular
Times are tough for a great many people, which is one reason so many dollar stores continue to do such incredible business. But you and I both know that almost everything at a “dollar” store typically tips into the territory of costing at least 101 cents, if not more.
No matter, the Dollar Tree franchise racked up $26 billion last year alone, due to its many food options for both the humans and the four-legged friends in your family. And in 2015, the corporation bought up competitor Family Dollar and its 8,000 stores, granting it combined assets of over 16,000 stores. That’s some serious business!
13. Dollar General
Headquartered: Goodlettsville, Tennessee
No. of stores: 18,979
Year opened: 1939
2022 revenue: $36 billion
What Makes Dollar General So Popular
Dollar Generals are everywhere. Stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the Canadian border in the north to the Mexican frontier in the south, there’s a Dollar General within reach of most everyone in the United States.
Buying in bulk allows Dollar General to retail its groceries at incredibly reasonable prices, which only helps to further its rather extraordinary bottom line. No wonder they’re so high up on the Fortune 500 list.
11. H-E-B (Tie)
Headquartered: San Antonio, Texas
No. of stores: 420
Year opened: 1905
2022 revenue: $38 billion
What Makes H-E-B So Popular
Need a laugh? Good, because this particular food giant is named for its founder, Florence Butt. Her son, H.E. Butt, renamed the corporation after himself, and the Butt family still owns the brand a century later.
“But” wait — there’s more! Today, H-E-B, a privately owned chain, sources meats and various other grocery staples for its hungry customer base — and it enjoyed 2022 revenue earnings of $38 billion. Who’s laughing at the Butts now? Just me?
11. Seven & i Holdings (Tie)
Headquartered: Tokyo, Japan; Dallas, Texas (U.S.)
No. of stores: 9,444 (U.S.)
Year opened: 1927
2022 revenue: $38 billion
What Makes Seven & i Holdings So Popular
For those of us who don’t watch the stock ticker on CNBC, Seven & i is much more familiar as the parent company of 7-Eleven, the ubiquitous convenience store seemingly on every corner in America. The first store in the franchise opened in Dallas, Texas, 96 years ago, and by the 1940s, it had been rebranded as “7-Eleven” to denote being open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Those were the days, but now, if you need some beef jerky and fiery hot 7-Eleven-branded chips at 4 a.m., their 24-hour locations have you covered.
The Japanese firm Seven & i bought a controlling interest in 7-Eleven in 1991, so if you’re feeling homesick on your next trip to Tokyo, pop by a local 7-Eleven.
10. Publix Super Markets Inc.
Headquartered: Lakeland, Florida
No. of stores: 1,293
Year opened: 1930
2022 revenue: $54 billion
What Makes Publix So Popular
If you travel south past a certain latitude, you’re liable to see a Publix grocery shop just about anywhere. The brand has spread upward from its home base in Florida, earning it a whopping $54 billion in revenue in 2022. That’s quite a lot of green (coincidentally, the primary color in Publix’s branding).
Discerning customers know to get quality meats from the in-house butcher counter, and seafood options are shipped to the fishmonger counter daily. And for those transplanted from the Deep South, you can also purchase Publix deep-fried okra and its homemade sweet tea. It doesn't get more Southern than that!
9. Sam’s Club
Headquartered: Bentonville, Arkansas
No. of stores: 600
Year opened: 1983
2022 revenue: $73.6 billion
What Makes Sam’s Club So Popular
The Sam of this mega-grocer would be one Samuel Moore Walton, founder of the eponymous club … as well as another tiny operation called Walmart (more on them later!).
Sam’s Club offers shoppers the chance to purchase groceries at wholesale prices as well as rather generous bags of frozen shrimp and beef brisket. It comes as no surprise that Sam’s Club also stocks restaurant-grade supplies and machines. I mean, those prices!
8. Ahold Delhaize USA
Headquartered: Quincy, Massachusetts
No. of stores: 2,048
Year opened: 2016
2022 revenue: $89 billion
What Makes Ahold Delhaize So Popular
I’d never heard of Ahold Delhaize either, but many of the grocery store brands they own have certainly gotten my business over the years. This giant corporation formed in 2016 from a merger of Ahold of Delhaize, and though based in Europe, its stateside complement entails over 2,000 stores.
If you’ve ever shopped for eats and drinks at any of the following — Food Lion, Stop & Shop, Giant and Hannaford — that money eventually goes into the accounts of Ahold Delhaize.
7. Target Corporation
Headquartered: Minneapolis, Minnesota
No. of stores: 1,948
Year opened: 1902
2022 revenue: $109 billion
What Makes Target So Popular
Bullseye! The Minneapolis retailer with the famous logo operates nearly 2,000 stores around the U.S., with its grocery section rather heftily stocked with cereals, fruits, snacks and steaks — as well as all manner of liquid “refreshments” for your next sports-themed party.
Oh, and if you want to impress your guests for said shindig, tell them you bought all the food at “Tar-Jay,” which sounds both classy and French. You’re welcome.
6. ALDI Inc.
Headquartered: Essen, Germany (worldwide); Batavia, Illinois (U.S.)
No. of stores: 2,284 (U.S.)
Year opened: 1962
2022 revenue: $121 billion
What Makes ALDI So Popular
I couldn’t make this up if I tried, but Essen, ALDI’s home base in Germany, literally translates to “eat” in English. If that’s not a good omen, I don’t know what is. ALDI is doing just fine on both sides of the Atlantic, with operations here in America performing swimmingly.
Because those Germans are world-famous for their various chocolates, it’s not surprising that their U.S. outposts stock up on sugary sweetness, with the Schogetten brand always available in the candy aisle. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Ich esse Schokolade (“I am eating chocolate”).
Headquartered: Deerfield, Illinois
No. of stores: 9,021
Year opened: 1901
2022 revenue: $132 billion
What Makes Walgreens So Popular
Today, we typically associate Walgreens with pharmacies, but when Charles R. Walgreen opened up shop in Chicago, Illinois, at the dawn of the last century, he was retailing primarily in groceries. Walgreens grew up in and around the Windy City, and by 1920, Mr. Walgreen was the proprietor of 20 stores. That was right when alcohol became illegal, but thanks to “medicinal” uses, Walgreens did a bang-up job during Prohibition by selling prescription whisky (how can I get that in my life?). Later came their famous ice cream and milkshakes, which are still the provenance of excited little league players after a game.
Walgreens also bought the New York-area Duane Reade franchise in 2010 but kept the name on those stores.
Headquartered: Cincinnati, Ohio
No. of stores: 2,726
Year opened: 1883
2022 revenue: $148 billion
What Makes Kroger So Popular
In yet another inspiring American success story, Barney Kroger put all the money he had into a humble grocery store in downtown Cincinnati in the late-19th century. That $372 has paid off in huge dividends, with the Kroger corporation sitting atop $148 billion in earnings from 2022 alone.
While, sure, there are a lot of Kroger stores out there, the corporation makes an even bigger killing thanks to the other brands it owns, including Harris Teeter, Smith’s and Ralph’s — the latter doubtless familiar to you “Big Lebowski” fans out there.
Headquartered: Issaquah, Washington
No. of stores: 585
Year opened: 1976
2022 revenue: $227 billion
What Makes Costco So Popular
Bill Maher once joked that people shop at Costco “with forklifts,” which is pretty spot-on considering you can add to your cart a 4-gallon jug of mayonnaise or even a tub filled with 60 pounds of honey (not a typo!). And I have no idea why anyone would need a 4.5-pound bag of quinoa, but I’d guess that’s for a rather hungry, off-the-grid hippie.
Costco may be fodder for comedians, but its $227 billion in revenue from 2022 has the company chuckling all the way to the Cayman Islands.
Headquartered: Woonsocket, Rhode Island
No. of stores: 9,960
Year opened: 1963
2022 revenue: $322 billion
What Makes CVS So Popular
The first Consumer Value Store opened in Massachusetts in 1963, but by the following year, it was going by the now-very-familiar abbreviation CVS. Like Rite Aid and Walgreens, CVS is typically associated with prescriptions and other health-related items, but it also sells a ton of groceries.
And it’s not just chips and chocolate — the brand is also big into hip veggie alternatives, with sharp-eyed reporters even spotting Beyond Burgers in CVS fridges of late. With nearly 10,000 shops to choose from, that’s some countrywide veggie convenience.
Headquartered: Bentonville, Arkansas
No. of stores: 4,648
Year opened: 1962
2022 revenue: $563 billion
What Makes Walmart So Popular
Told you we’d circle back around to the Walmart behemoth. From humble beginnings in mid-century Northwest Arkansas, this corporation now ranks as the world’s largest grocery store chain in terms of revenue alone. An astonishing 56 percent of all charges rung up at Walmart registers are for food purchases; for comparison, the total at Target is a mere 20 percent, according to CNBC.
So, while there are other grocery chains in the U.S. that have more physical stores than Walmart, no one comes even close to Walmart in terms of the number of groceries sold. Are you surprised?