The average American supermarket now measures over 46,000 square feet—up from an average of around 35,000 square feet in the mid-90s
Contrast with Aldi and Save-a-Lot: both have <20,000 square feet
Both have ~1200 stores in the US
How they save money:"They stock mostly private-label packaged foods, with a sprinkling of national brands thrown in when the price is right. Meat and produce sections are smaller than supermarkets’, but sufficient for many shoppers. Stores of 20,000 feet or less and a bag-it-yourself policy help trim overhead.
A typical Save-A-Lot stocks just 1,800 items, 5% of a supermarket’s total. Roughly 80% are private-label products, and they are displayed on shelves in the cardboard boxes they arrived in to save labor costs.
Aldi stores carry 1,400 items, 95% of them private label
And the generic stuff costs 30% or 50% less than what the typical consumer had been committed to buying for years prior to the recession. "
Read more: http://moneyland.time.com/2011/01/25/fewer-choices-more-savings-the-new-way-to-buy-groceries/#ixzz1V3bKIUQq