Grocery Outlet received a warm reception on Wall Street last week when it went public at $22 a share. Part of the appeal is that the operator of 316 stores with annual sales of $2.3 billion is a unique animal in food retail with a 15 year track record of same store sales growth.
Recession risks continue to be remote. That is despite the U.S. economy slowing from a nearly four percent rate of growth in the middle of 2018 back towards its long-term trend of two percent by the end of 2019.
Rite Aid improved its financial situation by selling nearly 2,000 stores to Walgreens, but major structural and competitive challenges remain, something newly hired CEO Kermit Crawford knows better than anyone.