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The Puget Sound Business Journal has a story about how Portland-based New Seasons Market has committed to the opening of a new store in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood, its second in the Puget Sound region.

New Seasons - which operates 16 stores in Oregon, one just over the border in Vancouver, Washington State, and one in San Jose, California - committed to the opening of a store on Washington's Mercer Island later this year. It also has plans to open a pair of stores in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as another one in Portland.

The retailer has established a strong image in the Portland market with its focus on local, healthy foods and commitment to donate 10 percent of its after-tax profits to communities where it operates.
KC's View:
It seems evident that Endeavour Capital, the private equity group with a major ownership stake in New Seasons, has decided that this is the horse that it thinks it can ride to the greatest growth. That is evident in its choice of a management team for New Seasons with experience running much bigger operations (especially the estimable Wendy Collie, who came to the company from Starbucks), and in the fact that New Seasons is opening stores in markets where other Endeavour-connected chains, such as Metropolitan Markets and Bristol Farms, already have a presence.

On the other hand, it could be that the openings that have emerged just happen to be the ones best-suited for a New Seasons, and that Metropolitan Markets and Bristol Farms also will expand when appropriate.

I will say this. If I were going to have three retailing weapons, I'd be very happy with New Seasons, Metropolitan Markets and Bristol Farms ... three terrific chains with strong and specific approaches to the marketplace.