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 more than 180 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.
Delhaize America rang up nearly two-thirds of its parent company's more than $29 billion in sales in 2011. 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: about 28% in 2011 vs. just 20% several years ago. 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.
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