business news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Chicago Tribune reports that "Whole Foods Market Inc. is buying as many as 7 Dominick's locations in the city and surrounding suburbs, according to sources." Safeway closed the 72-store Dominick's chain in late December, and has been selling off stories piecemeal.

Roundy's, for example, has acquired 11 stores that it is converting to the Mariano's format. Joe Caputo & Sons Fruit Market, which owns three grocery stores in the northwest suburbs, has acquired four stores; Tony's Finer Foods, which has about 10 locations in the Chicago area, bought one in Lincoln Square.

Whole Foods is not commenting on the report.

• The Dallas Business Journal reports that WinCo Foods is preparing to open its first two Texas stores, in Fort Worth and McKinney, this Thursday.

The story suggests that WinCo is looking at other Texas locations for its price-driven, 85,000 square-foot-plus stores.

If you've never been in a WinCo Foods, you need to rectify that situation. Because there is a reason that it is one of two companies that keeps Walmart executives awake at night. (The other is Amazon.)

• So, let's get this straight.

Jos. A. Bank tried to acquire the much bigger Men's Wearhouse and got rebuffed. Then, Men's Wearhouse made an offer to acquire Jos. A. Bank, and got rejected. And now, Jos. A. Bank reportedly is interested in acquiring Eddie Bauer, which is owned by private equity firm Golden Gate Capital.

Yippee! If this happens, it'll mean that it won't be long before Eddie Bauer will be offering "buy one winter parka, get three free" promotions. Which, the way this stupid winter is going, seems like a really smart purchase…
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