business news in context, analysis with attitude

• Sprouts Farmers Market, which has positioned itself as competitive to Whole Foods but at much lower prices, said yesterday that its Q2 net sales were up 20 percent compared to a year ago, to $743.8 million, while same store sales were up 9.5 percent. Sprouts said that it opened six stores during the quarter, and plans to open 24 new stores during 2014.

CNBC reports that the Neighborhood Market Association, which represents some 2,400 small markets in the western US, is saying that while plastic bag bans are said to be good for the environment, they also seem to result in an increase in shoplifting incidents.

The problem seems to be that when people bring in their reusable bags, they're able to steal products with greater ease than with single-use bags they get at checkout. The evidence is anecdotal rather than statistical, but there seems to be a growing feeling that there could be a correlation if not causality.

• The Chicago Business Journal reports that "for the fourth year in a row, Aldi was named the top low-price grocery store chain in America, according to a new survey conducted by independent research firm Market Force. " The survey says that Aldi "ranked ahead of familiar discount grocers such as Costco, Walmart and Trader Joe's in the low-price category."

The story goes on to say that "in addition to its top ranking among low-price grocers, Aldi also ranked as one of top three favorite grocery store chains in America in the new Market Force survey, which polled more than 6,000 consumers. Aldi was third among the top three, behind top-ranked Trader Joe's and Publix."
KC's View: