This category includes establishments primarily engaged in the retail sale of fresh, frozen, or cured meats, fish, shellfish, and other seafood. Also included are establishments primarily engaged in the retail sale, on a bulk basis, of meat for freezer storage, and in providing home freezer plans. Meat markets may butcher animals on their own account, or they may buy from others. Food locker plants primarily engaged in renting locker space for the storage of food products for individual households are classified in SIC 4222: Refrigerated Warehouse and Storage. Establishments primarily engaged in the retail sale of poultry are classified in SIC 5499: Miscellaneous Food Stores.
Other Direct Selling Establishments
Fish and Seafood Markets
There are an estimated 10,500 meat and fish (seafood) markets in the United States. Meat markets, including freezer provisioners, are the dominant types of retail establishments found in this classification, with 5,626 retail outlets. Meat and fish markets consisted of 1,797 establishments, followed by fish and seafood with 1,514 establishments. Combined, they generated approximately $5.4 billion in sales and controlled about 85 percent of the overall market. States with the highest number of establishments were New York with 1,395; California with 1,326; and Texas with 724.
The majority of these establishments are small, employing less than five people. According to Dun & Bradstreet, during the mid-2000s 7,452 markets had fewer than 5 employees; 1,776 had between 5 and 9; some 867 had between 10 and 24; another 253 had between 25 and 99; and 22 had between 100 and 499. The total number of employees was 53,953. Total sales for the industry totaled approximately $5.42 billion in 2005. The average sales of individual markets were about $500,000.
While most industry leaders post sales in the billions, sales of individual companies in this industry are much lower than companies in related industries. Industry leaders include Murry's Inc. of Upper Malboro, Maryland; Detroit-based Cattleman's Inc.; Performance Northwest of Portland, Oregon; and American Frozen Foods Inc. of Stratford, Connecticut.
The retail meat and fish market industry, like other retail food markets, experienced a steady downsizing throughout the early to mid-1990s, due in large part to competition from supermarkets, superstores, and wholesale...