WASHINGTON, DC-The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has released an annual study revealing that while the size of the average supermarket declined in 2000, the number of store openings increased for the year. According to the nonprofit research and public affairs association, a supermarket is defined as a grocery retailer that takes in an annual minimum of $2 million in sales, and there are approximately 32,000 such stores in the nation.

In The Facts About Store Development 2001 FMI concludes that at 4.9%, store openings exceeded store closings by 2.5%; an increase of .4% over the marginal difference for 1999. The increase in the number of stores offsets the general decrease in facility size. The average size of new stores for last year was 44,072 sf, which is a reduction from 1999′s average of 49,000 sf. “Due to a strong economy that raised land prices and building costs,” FMI found, “the industry continued to embrace alternative site solutions and reduce the size of new construction.”

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