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Denver-area grocery stores, ranked by 2020 market share

Grocery stores have been able to adapt and thrive in the COVID-19 pandemic.

DENVER — The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically changed the ways consumers shop for goods. Many malls, already struggling to remain relevant, face accelerated challenges as shoppers turn to e-commerce not only for its convenience but out of safety concerns.

Yet one sector has managed to adapt and thrive: the grocery store. Families are cooking at home more and dining out less. Some customers are ordering all of their groceries online for delivery by companies such as Instacart or Shipt. Others are driving up to specified parking lanes and having their produce and toilet paper placed in their trunks with contactless efficiency. Still others are masking up and shopping in stores under new rules like one-way lanes and floor labels indicating where to stand in line to ensure distancing.

Each year, Denver Business Journal consults with Tampa-based retail analytics firm Chain Store Guide to see which supermarkets have the greatest share of the local consumer dollar. This year's data — the most recent available — represents sales in the top 12 chains through March 31, when the pandemic was just beginning to take hold. But it shows interesting patterns, especially when compared to last year's breakdown.

For example, Korean newcomer chain H Mart, ranked No. 9 in 2019, dropped out of the top 12 altogether, while Trader Joe's sales overtook Walmart's Neighborhood Market brand by a slight margin. Costco's year-over-year annual local sales jumped from $925 million to $976 million, while King Soopers (Kroger) lost a bit of its market share to Walmart Supercenter.

12 largest grocery chains operating in the Denver area

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Credit: Alex Kirk, 9NEWS
King Soopers in Aurora, Colo.

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