COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The U.S. economic outlook is improving, but conventional supermarkets will be challenged to benefit, according to economists at Retail Forward here. In a conference call recently, the group noted that conventional supermarkets need to develop concepts focusing on upmarket customers because competition from supercenters will continue to gain share of the lower end over the next five years, they predicted. "Most of the growth of supermarkets over the past five years was ...

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