As they look ahead to the balance of the year, chain executives are generally upbeat in assessing the prospects for the industry and their own companies. Barring any unforeseen upheavals in the economy, they told SN, the rest of 1997 should be pretty similar to the early part of the year. "In a macro sense, it will be business as usual," Robert A. Mariano, president and chief executive officer of Dominick's Finer Foods, Northlake, Ill., said. "I don't see anything on the horizon to cause ...

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