business news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• The Dayton Business Journal reports that Iowa-based c-store chain Casey's General Store continues to expand in Ohio. The company doesn't have any open yet, but in relatively short order it is scheduled to have five units up and running in markets that include Dayton, New Lebanon and Ansonia.

According to the story, "The gas station and convenience store chain announced in December that its goal for fiscal year 2017 — which is half over — is to build or acquire 77 to 116 stores, replace 35 existing locations and complete 100 major remodels. The company self distributes and is able to expand more aggressively, including entering Ohio for the first time, because a second distribution center opened in April in Terre Haute, Ind. The hub lets it efficiently expand beyond the reach of its original distribution center in Des Moines, which had about a 500-mile reach."

Benzinga reports on a new study from Deutsche Bank concluding that Aldi has a clear low price advantage over Walmart, at least when it comes to the common shopping basket used in both stores. Walmart, in fact, was 13.5 percent more expensive: "Aldi led in the food and household & personal care categories, with the food basket at Wal-Mart coming in 14.3 percent more expensive, while the household & personal care basket at Wal-Mart was 12.7 percent higher."

I'm not doubting that equivalent products may cost less at Aldi than at Walmart, but I do think it is fair to point out that they are two entirely different shopping experiences. That's not to say that Walmart is in any way immune to the Aldi/Lidl threat ... just that the number of things that one can put in your basket at Aldi is a lot smaller than at Walmart. I have to wonder if - especially now that Walmart is being challenged online by Amazon and on the price end by Aldi/Lidl - the notion of greater selection ... and being a company made in the USA ... might begin to play more of a role in Walmart's marketing efforts.
KC's View: