Research Outline

Grocery Buyers


Identify and provide details of the grocery buyers for the 5 top retail stores in the U.S.

Early Findings

According to the National Retail Federation, the top 5 retail stores, that sell at least a small portion of grocery, products in the United States based on sales are Walmart, Kroger, Costco, Walgreens, and CVS. The 6th retailer is Target. The top 5 grocery retailers, excluding the 2 pharmacy chains, include Walmart, Kroger, Costco, Target, and Albertsons. Amazon, The Home Depot, and Lowes are among the largest retailers in the U.S., but either do not have physical stores or do not sell grocery products. Both Walgreens and CVS are pharmacy store chains and sell a variety of products, including some grocery items. The basis for details of the buyers for the top 5 retailers that sell grocery products may be found in the attached spreadsheet.

  • Walmart insists on a specific process to become one of their suppliers, regardless of the item to be sold to the retail giant. They provide step-by-step instructions directly on their website. One page describes the process and another allows a supplier to apply. In addition, the 8th & Walton website very clearly explains the entire process in great detail.
  • The Kroger Company has a similar process to Walmart: The process begins by becoming a supplier in the company's Supplier Hub. Full details are explained on Kroger's website, as well as a detailed explanation written by Mr. Checkout. Kroger employs both buyers for certain grocery categories and category managers. However, a list of buyers or category managers for the company does not exist in the public domain.
  • Mr. Checkout details the process to become a buyer for Costco. They recommend a step approach to finding the specific buyer: "Call the Costco’s corporate phone number and ask for the names of the buyer and assistant buyers in your category. Always leave voicemail with whomever the dispatch will connect you. Use that information to connect with them on LinkedIn, RangeMe and any other professional social platform. Ask your representative at your trade bureau to connect you to the Costco buyers as they will potentially have a better history."
  • Tinuiti has created a beginner's guide to selling to Costco complete with a video. Vendor inquiries are specific to regional divisions and may be found on the company's website.
  • Target also requires a registration process to become a vendor. Full details are explained on their website, and they have a separate page to begin the vendor registration process. Feedonomics explains the process in detail on their website.