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Grocery Chain Smart & Final Looks to Expand in Competitive Market

Smart & Final (SFS), a California-based grocery and foodservice chain, Tuesday announced plans to open 100 new stores in the highly competitive grocery space.

Smart & Final (SFS), a California-based grocery and foodservice chain, Tuesday announced plans to open 100 new stores in the highly competitive grocery space. The announcement came as Smart & Final marked its one-year anniversary as a public company at the New York Stock Exchange. Dubbed ‘Project 100,’ Smart & Final’s expansion will take place over the next four years in the Western U.S. The company’s CEO isn’t worried about the competition. ‘The reason we can compete the way we do as a value retailer is because we have a really low cost structure,’ said CEO David Hirz. ‘Our stores are smaller than most at 25,000 feet, they’re high productivity, no service departments, and we price really competitively in the markets, so we think value is the new normal.’ In its latest quarterly earnings report, Smart & Final reported a 9.3% increase in net sales, with a 3.5% gain in same store sales. The company also reported deflation in a few of its product categories, which Hirz said has continued into the third quarter. TheStreet's Rhonda Schaffler reports from New York.

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