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• The Triad Business Journal reports that in addition to being looked at by Kroger as a possible acquisition target, The Fresh Market also looks appetizing to three investment companies - Apollo Global Management, KKR & Co. and TPG Capital. All four are said to be in the second round of an auction process for the company, though if Fresh Market decides the dollars are not enough, they could pull the 183-store retailer off the market.

• The Seattle Times reports that "the private equity firm that owns Albertsons has gotten the green light from antitrust regulators to buy Haggen’s final core of grocery stores in Oregon and Washington." While that doesn't mean the deal is done, it is an ironic end to a sorry saga during which Albertsons was forced to sell off stores after it acquired Safeway, 33-unit Haggen bought 146 of the stores and then went bankrupt after it found that it did not have the infrastructure, strategic acumen or management expertise to run a company that big.

The story also notes that Haggen has "filed court documents to close four stores — in Federal Way and Burien, as well as Clackamas and West Linn in Oregon — that it considers noncore but had kept operating. That would leave some 30 stores to be taken over by Albertsons’ owner."

Reuters reports that Dollar General, buoyed by higher same-store sales that seem to be driven by both more customers and higher average transactions, plans "to open 80 smaller format stores this year in addition to the 30 it already operates, to better tap densely populated areas and rural locations." The story notes that "Dollar General's performance was in sharp contrast to that of Wal-Mart Stores Inc, which reported lower-than-expected comparable sales for the holiday quarter last month, hurt by a strong dollar and low prices for grocery products."

Bloomberg reports that Tailored Brands - the company that owns both Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank - "plans to shutter about 250 locations this fiscal year, including all of its outlet stores." The goal is to cut costs in an environment in which the company's sales and profits have been sliding; the company also wants to "align" the two divisions.
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