Stakeholders in the grocery and supermarket (retail) industry
This article aims to identify the key stakeholders in the grocery and supermarket (retail) industry. There is no doubt that the global grocery and supermarket industry is a fragmented one, with several players operating in different segments. This diversity is evident from the variety of stakeholders who are involved in this industry.
The size of global food and grocery retail market is enormous. It is expected to reach $14.78 trillion by 2030 (ResearchAndMarkets, cited in Yahoo Finance, 2022). The industry has adopted online sales channels rapidly which has benefitted many brick-and-mortar stores’ operations as well.
List of the stakeholders in the grocery and supermarket (retail) industry
Suppliers of the grocery and supermarket industry are businesses that produce and supply a wide range of products to retailers and supermarkets. Some of the popular products include fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen foods, dairy products, canned goods, snacks, meats, and seafood.
The selection of suppliers depends on the type of products retailers offer and the capacity of their storage facilities. Suppliers select their retail partners based on volume of products in demand, storage and delivery location, long-term commitment, and payment terms.
The biggest manufacturers and suppliers of grocery products are Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, Colgate-Palmolive, Kellogg, Kimberley Clark, Mondelez International, L’OREAL, Tyson Foods, JBS, Danone, Henkel, and Edgewell Personal Care. Many of these companies have operations around the world. If these companies do not supply the products, many retailers will extremely struggle to fill in their store shelves.
Wholesalers in the grocery and supermarket industry stock and sell a wide range of grocery and food items to retailers. Depending on their product portfolio or specialisations, they are also food distributors. These wholesalers are very important for small retailers, and corner shops which may not be able to have direct communications with large and multinational manufacturers of grocery products.
Customers are the most important stakeholders in the grocery and supermarket (retail) industry. They are of two types: individual customers and organisational customers. Individual customers (i.e. the general public) buy grocery products from the retailers. Their buying decisions are influenced by their personal needs, and desires. They usually buy in small quantities.
On the other hand, organisational customers such as retailers, corner shops, convenience stores buy from wholesalers and manufacturers. In fact, big retailers usually buy directly from the manufacturers (suppliers).
Retailers are very important as they are the bridges between the general public and manufacturers and wholesalers. Some retailers have global operations while others focus on the local markets only. Some of the top retailers in the world are Amazon, Walmart, Alibaba, Home Depot, Costco, Target, JD.Com, Fast Retailing, and Best Buy (Debter, 2022).
Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s Morrisons, Aldi, Co-op, Lidl, Waitrose, Iceland, and Ocado are the top grocery supermarkets in the UK (Kantar, 2022). Tesco is the market leader while Sainsbury’s and Asda are in stiff competition with each other for the second place. Some of these retailers have operations in the USA, and across Europe. In fact, Tesco is one of the biggest retailers in the world. It is the market leader in the UK.
Employees in the grocery and supermarket industry work in a wide variety of roles. Depending on their skills, expertise, and functions, they are known as customer service assistants, managers, supervisors, sales representatives, data analysts, and many more. Working in this industry is not always easy. Long hours, short breaks, cleaning the store, dealing with returns and customer complaints, and some other factors are often cited by people who found work in this industry challenging.
Governments are also important stakeholders in the global grocery and supermarket industry. They may enact new laws which can affect businesses. They collect corporate taxes from companies. They also collect individual taxes from people employed by the businesses. They benefit from the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that all types of grocery and retail companies contribute to.
Local communities advocate for the interests of residents in a given area. Their interests are often related to the welfare of the neighbourhood, its residents, employment opportunities for locals, and general upkeep. Companies should employ local people as best as possible. Likewise, they should update the local communities when they engage in any major developmental activities.
Businesses sometimes need financial assistance to continue their operations. While they can generate money by selling shares, they often reach out to banks and other financial services organisations. Banks often provide big companies with low-interest loans; however, small organisations may sometimes find it difficult to secure big loans because of strict lending criteria.
Conclusion: Stakeholders in the grocery and supermarket (retail) industry
The analysis shows that there are several stakeholders in the global grocery and supermarket (retail) industry. These organisations and individuals play different roles and without them this massive industry cannot operate at all. However, not all those players are of equal power and interests. Therefore, a thorough analysis of the comparative power and interests should help anyone understand this dynamic industry better.
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Last update: 11 August 2022
Debter, L. (2022) The world’s largest retailers 2022, available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurendebter/2022/05/12/worlds-largest-retailers-2022-amazon-walmart-alibaba/?sh=9626bd759e34 (accessed 10 August 2022)
Kantar (2022) Grocery market share, available at: https://www.kantarworldpanel.com/en/grocery-market-share/great-britain (accessed 09 August 2022)
Yahoo Finance (2022) Global food & grocery retail market analysis report 2022, available at: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/global-food-grocery-retail-market-100100712.html (accessed 10 August 2022)
Author: Joe David
Joe David has years of teaching experience both in the UK and abroad. He writes regularly online on a variety of topics. He has a keen interest in business, hospitality, and tourism management. He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management.