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In Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports that there seems to be a lot of speculation in Minneapolis/St. Paul that the market soon could be seeing a new competitor – Coborn’s, the family-owned company that currently operates 34 stores in central Minnesota and on the periphery of the metro area.

The reason? Last week’s acquisition by Coborn’s of the assets of the defunct SimonDelivers e-grocery service, which services the metropolitan area, is seen as a possible stalking horse for future expansion. One theory suggests that Coborn’s could be interested on acquiring the Rainbow stores operated by Roundy’s in the Twin Cities; Roundy’s reportedly has been looking for a buyer in the face of declining market shares there.

Another theory advanced by the Star Tribune is that “the SimonDelivers acquisition may be less about generating profit for Coborn's than about gaining new volume-purchasing discounts from grocery suppliers. By selling to 19,000 online customers, the new CobornsDelivers might boost Coborn's purchasing volume to the point that the firm saves more on buying grocery store products than it loses on an unprofitable Internet grocery-shopping business.”

KC's View:
Not sure what Coborn’s acquisition plans are, but I find it hard to believe that the e-commerce business is the only thing that the company wants to focus on in the Twin Cities. It probably all depends on availability and price…