MONTREAL -- Canadian operators said they are optimistic that final 1997 results will show sales gains following the nation's first drop in total sales in over a decade in 1996, according to the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors here. The council indicated that total industry volume fell 1.7% in 1996 to $53.1 billion (Canadian) due to the growth of food sales through nontraditional outlets such as mass merchandisers and drug stores, which accounted for about 19.6% of total grocery ...

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