NGA/FMS Study Finds Independents Reach Record Sales and Profits

December 1, 2021

By Eric Payne, NGA Manager of Communications

NGA and FMS Solutions release a joint study annually to benchmark financial and operational performance in the independent supermarket industry. This is a great chance to get an idea of how the industry is doing and what areas grocers can capitalize on.

Here is a little background on FMS, a familiar face to the independent grocer. FMS helps independent retail grocers succeed by transforming historical accounting activities into timely, accurate decision support tools. They are a preferred provider of industry benchmarking, best practices, and mission-critical decision support.

This year’s study found that, for many retailers, sales increased an average of 17%, boosted by an increase in transaction size to an average of $31, with an additional increase in online orders. Even with high inflation, sales still gained 13.5% once adjusted for price increases.

Here are some other highlights:

  • Dry grocery, dairy, frozen, and meat were big contributors to increased sales
  • High demand drove an increase in inventory turns, reaching an average of 19.2 times per year as well as a decrease shrink of 2.5%
  • Hiring and retention are top concerns for grocers, with the pandemic causing significant challenges
  • Independents had many COVID-19 related expenses, among them enhanced cleaning, protection equipment for employees and customers, bonus, hero pay, overtime, and hiring and retention costs
  • Independents improved their margins to 28.4% across departments with the biggest departmental increases by dry grocery, dairy, GM/HBC, and beer/wine/liquor

The complete survey is available here.