NEW YORK -- As 1996 draws to a close, it seems increasingly clear that Ahold -- one of the world's few global food retailers -- has set an expansion pace and breadth that are without peer. Quincy, Mass., giving it a sixth U.S. chain. The transaction closed in July. The big Stop & Shop operation was added to Ahold's existing portfolio of food retailing that is winning it a major position in the eastern part of the United States. At the same time, though, Ahold's challenge is to make ...

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