Jan 11, 2024 | Industry News

In the dynamic world of the supermarket industry, auctions have emerged as pivotal events, shaping the landscape of how businesses acquire and liquidate assets. Reflecting on the past year, we’ve witnessed fascinating trends and shifts in the supermarket auction space. This review delves deep into these patterns, uncovering what the highest-selling items were, the surprises that cropped up, and how demand has shifted, painting a picture of the year that was in supermarket auctions.

Overview of Last Year’s Auctions

2023 was nothing short of remarkable in the realm of supermarket auctions. We analyzed 25 of last year’s supermarket auctions, which showcased a vast array of equipment and items essential to the supermarket industry. From refrigeration units to shelving systems, each auction brought together a diverse set of buyers and sellers, contributing to a vibrant marketplace. The volume of sales and the enthusiastic participation of bidders underscored the auctions’ success, indicating a robust interest in acquiring quality equipment at competitive prices.

Highest-Selling Items

Several items consistently topped the sales charts in our auctions:

  • Shelving units: Brands like Lozier and Madix were particularly popular, indicating a strong demand for robust and versatile storage solutions.
  • Checkout counters: These items were in high demand, emphasizing their importance in efficient customer service.
  • Refrigeration units: Both upright and industrial-sized models were frequently sold, underlining their essential role in product preservation.
  • Sheet Pans: ‘New 26” x 18” sheet pans’ were notably popular, frequently used in bakery and deli sections, reflecting a demand for essential baking tools.
  • Gondola Shelving Variants: Specifically, ’60’ Kent black/gray gondola shelving with 21″/21″ decks, 6½’H – 4′ Kent wood/laminate wall shelving with 16″ deck, 6½’H’ were among the top sellers, emphasizing the need for diverse shelving solutions in supermarkets.

While shelving units were a mainstay in our auctions, other items also attracted significant interest. For instance, freezer shelves were sought after for their efficiency in frozen goods storage. Alongside the expected, several items emerged as surprisingly popular:

  • Comfortable Seating: Various types of chairs, including metal frame chairs and cushioned seating options, attracted significant interest. This trend reflects an increasing focus on customer comfort and staff welfare in store layouts.
  • Lighting Solutions: Efficient and modern lighting solutions, such as LED track lights, were sought after, indicating a growing emphasis on energy efficiency and enhancing store ambiance.
  • Essential Sanitary Fixtures: Stainless steel hand sinks were another common item. This reflects an ongoing emphasis on hygiene and sanitation in supermarkets, an aspect that has become increasingly important.
  • Checkout Lane Equipment: The frequent sale of check lane equipment underscores the importance of efficient checkout processes in supermarkets. This trend highlights the need for modern, functional checkout equipment to facilitate smooth customer transactions.
  • Butchery Equipment Demand: The sale of specialized equipment such as meat saws points to a resurgence or continued strength in in-store butchery services. This suggests a trend towards supermarkets enhancing their fresh food offerings, particularly in the meat department.

The Role of Technology

Technology played a pivotal role in enhancing the auction experience. Online bidding platforms, like what Grafe Auction uses, continued to expand access, allowing participants from various locations to engage in real-time. Digital catalogs and tools improved the efficiency and transparency of the auctions, making them more accessible and user-friendly. This integration of technology is a clear indication of how digital advancements are shaping the future of supermarket auctions.

Predictions for the Upcoming Year

Based on last year’s trends, the upcoming year is likely to see continued demand for versatile shelving solutions and sustainable equipment. Advanced auction technology is also expected to play a significant role, further streamlining the auction process. These trends will likely shape the supermarket auction landscape, offering new opportunities and challenges.

Additionally, as we look ahead, the supermarket auction landscape in 2024 is likely to be influenced by the significant shifts in consumer food spending and habits observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reflecting on findings from the USDA Economic Research Service, consumers are returning to pre-pandemic food consumption habits. We expect that, due to increased consumer spending at restaurants and other food service establishments, grocery stores will likely resume more typical closure patterns. This will lead to increased opportunities to acquire quality supermarket equipment at auction.


Last year’s supermarket auctions provided a wealth of insights into the industry’s current state and future trajectory. By staying informed about these trends, businesses in the supermarket sector can make strategic decisions, ensuring their operations remain competitive and responsive to market demands.

Source: 2023 Supermarket Auction Insights: Key Trends and Popular Items | Blog | Grafe Auction

Other Articles You May Be Interested In

Going once … going twice … sold! With a little TLC, an old Par Aide ball washer sold at South Hills CC auction makes for a unique gift

Going once … going twice … sold! With a little TLC, an old Par Aide ball washer sold at South Hills CC auction makes for a unique gift



Two US Auction Houses to Merge, Forming a Major Player in the Market for American Art

Two US Auction Houses to Merge, Forming a Major Player in the Market for American Art

Larry Harb

Larry Harb

The Wisconsin Auctioneers Association actively advocates for the auction industry through grassroots lobbying and a WAA legislative fund. Member engagement and donations are key to the success of WAA advocacy efforts.

WAA President

Riley Kahl

Our Mission is to educate, promote and protect the auction industry of Wisconsin:

to encourage Auctioneers; to enhance skills, knowledge and professionalism;

to promote the auction method of marketing for sale of real and personal properties.

The Lodge at Mauston

Online booking code is: WAA2024
Guests can book by going online to:
Or calling (608) 747-2200

Learning the Art of Auctioneering

Auctioneer Schools
State Exam

Sales & Use Tax


It is the duty of every member to protect the public against fraud, misrepresentation or unethical practices in connection with the sale, disposition or liquidation of any real or personal property the auctioneer is called upon to dispose of at public auction.


No items found

Industry News

Member News

Larry Harb

Mr. Harb aka… the Auctioneer Insurance Guy, is the founder and CEO of,...

Industry Events

7 + 12 =

Contact Us

2080 W 9th Avenue, #310
Oshkosh, WI 54904
(608) 228-4880