While many Canadian shoppers may be suprised to hear about MEtro’s dominance, Canadian Grocer alludes that Metro has been diligent and forward thinking when it comes to their business model and the efforts have paid off in a big way.
According to industry insiders and investment websites, Metro right now is only rivaled in the world by the Kroger grocery store chain.
The well-respected investment site Seeking Alpha is quoted as saying
“Over the past 10 years, Metro (OTCPK:MTRAF) has arguably been North America’s second-best publicly traded grocer after Kroger (NYSE:KR). The two share several similarities: neither is the largest in their respective market but they are the best, consistent dividend growth and share repurchases, track records of steady EPS growth and good returns on invested capital, and both have seen tremendous success with their respective loyalty programs.” – Seeking Alpha
Metro’s slow but sure arrival at the top of grocery store chains comes from superior operations. Canadian Grocer points out that Metro is not marginally better at operations than Loblaw or Sobey’s but lightyears ahead of their competitors.
The proof is in the numbers*. Canadian Grocer states that Metro’s gross margin at 19.7% trails that of Loblaw and Sobeys at 23.3% and 24.9 % respectively, however Metro’s expenditures as a per cent of sales is lower as well hovering around 12.7% while Loblaws and Sobeys expenditures are closer to 20%.
The result? Metro experiences margins of 7% where Loblaw’s margins are 4.8 % and Sobeys 3.1%.
Another reason for Metro’s success is their purchasing of the A&P grocery store chain 10 years ago. While every other retailer was focused on building suburban megastores, Metro was quietly taking over A&P’s which already had a great downtown and urban footprint, making Metro stores easily accessible.
With all this in mind, it seems like Canadian Grocer is making a good argument and that in fact Metro very well might be the best grocery store chain in the world.
*Numbers were sourced from CanadianGrocer.com