DSN’s 2019 Retail Pacesetters Report

They rule the roost, at least when it comes to the world of mass retail.

A generation or two ago, retail was controlled by a completely different set of merchants. Sears and Kmart dominated the mass retail world, and The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. and Safeway were the big players in supermarkets. Among drug stores, there were seemingly dozens of regional players, all content to dominate a couple of different metropolitan areas.

The Internet? No one could even dream what that would become.

Today, retail looks completely different. Sears and Kmart merged and just barely are holding on. A&P is gone and, while Safeway is still around, it is now integrated into Albertsons’ wide and growing store base. Now Walmart, a once regional player in the south central part of the country, is the national leader, followed by Target and Costco. Two national drug store chains, Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy, dominate that marketplace — though they also seem to be direct competitors of the remaining major supermarket chains, not to mention the aforementioned Walmart, Target and Costco. In the pharmacy space, independent pharmacies, many of which are collected under banners linked to distributors, are holding onto their piece of the pie.

As for the Internet, let’s just say that Amazon has done a number on the traditional retail model over the last decade, and all signs suggest it’s poised to do the same to pharmacy.

To help the industry know more about the state of retail, DSN has compiled a list of the 20 most influential retailers today.

  1. Walgreens keeps on growing

  2. CVS Health seeks to transform the healthcare model

  3. Rite Aid takes on a new look

  4. Walmart pushes the digital envelope

  5. Target focuses on efficiencies, acquisitions

  6. Costco eases into e-commerce, maintains dominant stores

  7. Amazon makes a play in traditional retail

  8. Kroger relentlessly grows its empire

  9. Publix expands “fearlessly” up the East Coast

  10. H-E-B builds local connections with its customers

  11. Meijer operates supercenters at a high level

  12. Wakefern seizes its co-opportunity

  13. Hy-Vee moves in new format directions

  14. Albertsons builds connections between food, pharmacy

  15. Giant Eagle offers value in food, fuel and pharmacy

  16. Wegmans continues to make its presence felt

  17. Ahold Delhaize successfully stays the course

  18. Good Neighbor Pharmacy builds out independent support

  19. Health Mart’s new leadership charts path forward

  20. Medicine Shoppe focuses on ‘caring beyond prescriptions’