The food retail industry faces a disproportionately heavy tax burden, according to new data from the Food Marketing Institute’s (FMI) “Grocery Industry Economic Impact” report, which was released in conjunction with the trade group’s call for tax code reform.
FMI’s analysis with John Dunham & Associates has found that food retailers have a significant economic impact on federal and state economies, employing roughly 4.8 million workers and producing more than $363 billion in economic activity in 2016. Food retailers also paid nearly $168 billion in wages to associates with diverse skill sets throughout the operations of a grocery store.
“Simply put, all Americans — from employees and their families to customers — rely on the industry’s success,” says FMI president and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin. “Our industry needs tax relief to continue setting the table for economic growth.”
However, burdensome taxes make it difficult for food retailers to hire new employees, raise wages for current workers and meet the demands of the new consumer and marketplace. The food retail industry pays $153 billion in taxes, or nearly $32,000 for each person they employ.
Plus, low profit margins compound the burden. Over the last three decades, the average retailer has netted just 1 percent in profit after accounting for taxes, overhead and other costs.
FMI advocates on behalf of the food retail industry, with its members operating nearly 40,000 retail food stores in the U.S. Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides benefits to more than 1,225 food retail and wholesale member companies in the U.S. and around the world.
To review the full analysis, click here.