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The Los Angeles Times reports that Smart & Final, the LA-based warehouse-style grocery chain, "raised about $161 million Wednesday through the public sale of nearly 13.5 million shares."

The company, which currently has some 250 grocery and food stores in six states and generates about $3.2 billion in annual sales, is expected to use the majority of the proceeds from the IPO to pay down debt.

According to the Times story, "Smart & Final is going public at a time of increased competition in the grocery space. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. have both stepped up their fresh-food offerings, while e-commerce giant Amazon has also started testing grocery delivery."

Smart & Final, the Times writes, has deep roots in Southern California, going back to 1871, "to a shop called Hellman, Haas Grocery Co. that sold daily necessities such as flour, chewing tobacco and gunpowder. The store was one of the first seven names in L.A.'s first telephone directory, according to the company website."
KC's View:
It makes me happy when I see businesses like Smart & Final continue to be successful … it has one of the more unique value propositions that I've seen out there, and it is just a good thing when in a world where companies like Amazon get all the ink, a business that started in the 19th century continues to innovate and attract customers.