Hannaford Bros. may have started as a fruit and vegetable stand in 1883, but it has expanded from its Maine roots to become an upscale grocer with 180-plus stores under the Hannaford Supermarkets banner throughout Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, upstate New York, and Vermont. Still, produce continues to be a major focus at the Hannaford supermarkets, as are expansive meat selections and natural food products. About 80% of the Hannaford stores are combination grocery stores and pharmacies. The stores average about 47,800 sq. ft. Maine's largest supermarket chain, Hannaford Bros. is owned by Delhaize America (parent of Food Lion), which in turn is owned by Belgium's Delhaize Group.
Scarborough-based Hannaford Bros. Co's. largest market in Maine, home to about 55 of its 183 stores. New York is next with about 50 stores, followed by New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont.
Delhaize America rang up €12.9 billion ($17 billion) in 2013, an increase of 2% over 2012 in local currency, supported by same-store sales growth of 2%. Delhaize America accounted for 61% of its parent company's €21.1 billion ( $29 billion) in sales for the year. In 2013, the US gross margin decreased as a result of price investments at Hannaford and Food Lion. Delhaize does not break out the financial results of its individual chains.
In response to increasing competition -- specifically new Market Basket and ShopRite store openings in key Hannaford markets in 2012 -- the chain has cut prices in advance of those entries, but at the expense of profits. The company believes the price cuts are essential to its long-term growth and will pay for themselves in time. In another bid to win more customers, Hannaford Bros. launched
Hannaford to Go
at two stores in 2011. The service, which the chains expects to roll out to more locations, allows shoppers to order groceries online and pick up orders at the store. The regional grocery chain is also counting on its growing stable of private-label items to instill customer loyalty. Indeed, its own "Hannaford" private-label brand of more than 6,100 products accounts for a growing proportion of sales. Seeing potential for growth in the organics food area, the grocer now sells some 3,500 natural and organic products under the Nature's Place brand name at its stores.
The grocery chain is also adding stores, with new supermarkets opening in Maine and New Hampshire in 2014.