retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Associated Press reports on how some convenience store chains are "fighting for customers with smaller restaurant chains, and with supermarkets that offer prepared foods for busy shoppers." That means "expanding their hot food offerings in hopes of stealing customers away from fast-food chains."

For example, "in the past year, 7-Eleven has added $1.99 chicken sandwiches and cheeseburgers kept in warming cases. That's in addition to sandwich melts the chain introduced in 2015. The chain ... says food is a top priority."

C-store chain Sheetz "says half of its new locations are built with a drive-thru, an accommodation the fast-food industry relies on for the majority of its sales. While Sheetz customers use the drive-thru mainly to order from the chain's made-to-order foods like burgers, the company says they can also request items like a gallon of milk from elsewhere in the store if they want." At Wawa, "along with its prepared foods such as hoagies and sandwiches, the chain offers packaged drinks and snacks that people can grab with their meals."


• The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that "Food Lion is spending $110 million to spruce up 71 stores in the greater Richmond region.
The renovations are underway as competition for grocery customers is about to get more intense with market newcomers Lidl and Publix Super Markets scheduled to open stores in the coming months.

"The Food Lion renovations include stores in Richmond and neighboring counties, plus stores in Amelia, Blackstone, Bowling Green, Dinwiddie, Emporia and elsewhere in the Salisbury, N.C.-based grocery chain’s Richmond market."


• The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that c-store chain Sheetz "plans to hire 3,400 employees ... holding interviews this week for full- and part-time employees."

Sheetz currently has more than 550 stores.
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