Interest rates will play a key role in supermarkets' expansion abilities over the next few years as competition heats up. The Federal Reserve Bank's round of interest rate hikes over the past year alarmed some in the supermarket industry who claimed that operators will be squeezed out of growth opportunities. However, the blows haven't yet been as hurtful as some feared, according to a number of analysts, operators and other observers. Many retailers said they believe rates have stabilized ...

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