• The Omaha World Herald reports that Fresh Thyme, which has one store in that market, "will add two more stores in west Omaha next month ... The west Omaha stores are part of the Chicago-area grocer’s push to expand quickly throughout the Midwest. The chain has 48 stores now, including one that opened last summer along West Maple Road and another in Lincoln.
"The company said it expects to have a total of 70 stores by the end of 2017."
• The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) is out with its regular Consumer Fuels survey, saying that "consumer optimism remains very strong at the start of 2017 despite a continued rise in gasoline prices. For the third month in a row, a majority of consumers (57%) say they are optimistic about the economy - despite gas prices rising all three months."
The survey goes on to say that "consumers were least optimistic in the Northeast (50%) - the region more likely have reported higher prices - and consumers were most optimistic in the West (60%) - the region least likely to have reported higher pump prices.
"Also, in a noteworthy shift from monthly findings in the past, consumers over age 50 are more optimistic about the economy than those ages 18 to 34 (59% vs. 54%)."