Of all the "essential businesses" that remain open, few are more important to sheltered-in-place Americans than grocery stores. Aside from pharmacies and doctors' offices, grocery stores provide a critical lifeline that's keeping families fed, healthy, and as happy as possible as they await better days.

According to Foodindustry.com, there are 26,149 ceonventional supermarkets in the US. There are an additional 4,412 "supercenters" (think Walmart) and another 1,370 club stores (like Costco).

We mapped out more than 18,000 of them here as a way to understand our nutritional superhighway throughout the country. The maps are color-coded by chain and company, so all Walmart-owned grocery stores are in red, for instance, regardless of their brand variations. Similarly, all Albertson's ($PRIVATE:PRIV_ALBERTSONS) stores are in blue, including its sub-brands ACME, Shaw's, Vons, and Safeway. Zoom in and scroll to look beyond the clusters of Walmart ($WMT).

Note: Not included here are some of the specialty chains, including ALDI, LIDL, Trader Joe's, Sprouts, Whole Foods, and Wegman's. We'll explore those at another time very soon.

That's a lot of red. Walmart has nearly 5,000 stores throughout the United States alone. Albertson's, in blue, has more than 2,300 stores. The lighter green in the midwest represents Hy-Vee, and the darker green clusters in Detroit, Chicago, and and Cincinnati represent Kroger ($KR).

In the Northeastern United States, Albertsons chains make their blue presence known in the form of ACME, Star Market, Shaw's, and Safeway. Meanwhile, Kroger's network in green extends into Eastern Pennsylvania.

In the Southeast, Publix ($OTC:PUSH) makes a clear showing in green even as Walmart in red continues to dominate.

In the midwest, a smattering of ominpresent Walmart it broken up by clusters of Jewel-Osco in blue and Kroger in green. 

Albertson's presence in the southwest is clear with streaks of blue broken up by Walmart red. Splotches of Kroger in green can be seen inland.

In the northwestern corner of the US, Safeway makes a showing from the Bay Area up into Oregon and Washington, as Kroger shows up in more remote locations.

As for what's represented in the map, at least by brand name, the top-10 include:

Entity Name

Stores Shown



Walmart Supercenter


Sam's Club








Walmart Neighborhood Market








About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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