business news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Grocery Outlet is returning to the City by the Bay, a dozen years after it closed its last self-described "extreme value" store there.

"After years of searching for the right space, the Berkeley company, which holds the licenses for 200 markets in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Idaho and Pennsylvania, plans to open a 9,000-square-foot shop at 6333 Geary Blvd., between 27th and 28th avenues in the Richmond District."

Grocery Outlet was founded in San Francisco in 1946.

I'm a big fan of Grocery Outlet stores, which I've had a chance to visit while out in Oregon. They are simple but powerful stores, with a clear, unambiguous message … and I think they could be a national threat if they ever expand to that extent.

• The Chicago Tribune reports that Chicago has seen the opening of a new organic competitor in the market - Mrs. Green's Natural Market, which opened last week in Lincoln Park, "taking on upscale competitors like Mariano’s and Whole Foods, and perhaps looking to fill at least some of the void left by the imminent exit of Dominick’s."

Mrs. Green's is a 14-store chain, based in New York, but this is the first store it has opened in the Midwest.

Recycling Today reports that Wegmans Food Markets "has joined the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Flexible Film Recycling Group (FFRG). The ACC says Wegmans is the first retailer to join the FFRG, a self-funded group within the ACC that is dedicated to boosting polyethylene (PE) film recovery efforts."

Jason Wadsworth, sustainability coordinator for Wegmans, tells Recycling Today that "recycling of plastic bags and film is one effective way to address environmental concerns. Because of our closed-loop system, bags and film that customers return for recycling at our stores are made into new Wegmans bags, not litter."

Other FFRG members include Dow, ExxonMobil, Sealed Air Corp., and SC Johnson.

• Alimentation Couche-Tard said last week that "it has signed, through its wholly-owned indirect subsidiary, Circle K StoresInc., an agreement with Albuquerque Convenience and Retail LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Phillips 66 Company, to acquire 23 stores in the state of New Mexico. The transaction is anticipated to close in December 2013. Also, Couche-Tard has signed an agreement, through Circle K Stores Inc., with Publix Super Markets Inc. to acquire 13 stores, 11of which are located in the state of Florida and the other two in state of Georgia. This transaction is also anticipated to close in December 2013."
KC's View: