Safeway's latest opening in Elvetham Heath, Fleet, illustrates the challenge facedby the number four grocer in finding profitable locations for its new stores.
While the store looks set to perform adequately, its location in an area already awash with multiples can only ever expect moderate returns.
CACI's analysis predicts that sales intensities at the store, which opened last week just off the M3 in Hampshire, will be just below average for the fascia. Total store turnover will rank a little lower.
The predicted catchment for the store will be channelled north to south, squeezed into this channel by the top three retailers' strong presence in the swathe of towns on the Surrey/ Hampshire border to the east and Basingstoke to the west.
Indeed, our analysis reveals that the Tesco Extra five miles away in Aldershot does not register any impacts and will continue to dominate the local environment. However, Tesco is likely to register a combined loss of £28,000 across its other three stores in the area.
Safeway's net gain from the new store is a respectable £248,000 a week, once the impacts at the Southwood ­ Farnborough, Farnham and Sandhurst stores have been accounted for.
The strength of competition in the area dictates that the new Safeway store is likely to command a share of only 19% of the available supermarket spend in its catchment. Tesco is likely to continue to dominate the market, taking 27% of the available spend from the new Safeway's catchment. Sainsbury will also continue to steal a considerable amount of Safeway's trade, taking 17% of catchment share through its neighbouring stores.
This affluent area results in a strong local presence for Waitrose, which commands an 11% share of the catchment, but it may feel the brunt of the new Safeway through its stores in Fleet and Yateley.
But demographically, Safeway has only moderate fit to the catchment. While its move towards quality foods may help draw upon the Wealthy Achievers, Suburbia' Acorn Types who dominate the catchment, a failure to tailor the store to this group's exacting requirements will play directly into the hands of Sainsbury's, Marks and Spencer, Waitrose and Tesco ­ who have a better demographic fit