business news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that Portland, Oregon-based New Seasons Market has set an opening date - November 10 - for its first Seattle-area store, which will be located on Mercer Island, in an old Albertsons location.

The store is said to be "the first of possibly three new stores around Seattle" that NewSeasons would like to open.

According to the Journal, "This new store will be the latest expansion of several by natural food markets, such as Seattle-based PCC Natural Markets and Metropolitan Market as well as Whole Foods, that are expanding in or entering the Puget Sound-area market. Add that to the increase of traditional grocers, from Costco, to Safeway to Wal-Mart, expanding their natural and organic food selections, and natural food stores in the area have a lot of competition."

I'm looking forward to seeing how New Seasons performs in the Seattle area, and not just because it is one of my favorite food retailers. Both New Seasons and Metropolitan Market are in the Endeavour Capital portfolio ... but they have different offerings, and I'll be interested to see how they compete and co-exist in Seattle.

• The Japan Times reports that "Seven-Eleven Japan Co. expects to open thousands of new stores in the U.S., increasing its current tally of 8,500 to 20,000, President Kazuki Furuya said ... The U.S. unit is now prepared to expand its network after introducing Japanese-style product development and services through personnel exchanges with Seven-Eleven Japan, Furuya said.

"He said whereas U.S. customers tended in the past to be lower-income people, increasing numbers of the middle-class are now using the outlets because the quality of goods has improved."
KC's View: