HELSINKI, Finland -- Kesko, a wholesaler based here, has revamped the marketing and merchandising strategy of its independent grocery retailers in an attempt to centralize control. The cooperative supplier has reidentified the banners of its 1,900 independent supermarket customers and aligned them under a unified "K" theme, which includes four separate format styles. In effect, the wholesaler has moved closer to the chain-store concept, but without taking ownership control of the stores. ...

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